Small Business Spotlight

CoEd supporters are the greatest. You’re generous, kind, silly, adventurous, compassionate, and a little competitive, too. (We’re talking about you, Rick and Rich!) Each of you has a story of what motivates you to help students in Guatemala and it gives us great pleasure to learn them. As we reflect (and celebrate you!) during Supporter Appreciation Month, we’ve been struck at how many among you are small business owners.

Owning your own business has always been part of the proverbial “American Dream”. And what often happens when that business begins to see success? Greed takes over and profit becomes king, right? Not for these businesses. They are using their success and entrepreneurial spirit to make a positive impact in the world.  We’re continually surprised by the out-of-the-box ways that you find to help children in Guatemala get a better education and overcome poverty, and we want to highlight a few business owners who inspire us.

Gloria Strayer and her company, Design and Print Resource in Anaheim, CA, have been our go-to providers for CoEd publications, doing all of our printing free of charge. They provided last year’s Fall Fiesta invitations, our most recent round of brochures, and the suite of marketing materials that is propelling the Thousand Girls Initiative forward.

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Victor Morales and his gallery, MAYA, held a month-long benefit for CoEd. They hosted two cocktail parties and donated almost a third of their sales to CoEd at month’s end. They’re planning even more outreach for 2017, so stay tuned!

Phil Guerin, owner of Myxed Up Creations, has helped for many years in the development of CoEd’s marketing and communication strategy. Now Myxed Up is stepping up. Each retail store in Colorado plans to sponsor a student in the Thousand Girls Initiative and store manager Manny Ruelas is going above and beyond and is getting involved personally too!

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Matthew Kane, owner of Cutting Edge Engraving in Raleigh, NC, has donated his services for a number of years. You know we love recognizing supporters publicly, especially LLS members and program sponsors, and Matt provides his services to us for free. We love the way his pieces look when they’re finished and appreciate that he allows us to recognize great work in a great way.

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For George and Michele MacMaster of Alpharetta Children’s Dentistry it started out simply. George traveled to Guatemala. Since that fateful first trip Michele has traveled 10 times, they’ve brought their children, employees, friends, neighbors, and anyone from Atlanta who will listen long enough. They even got Fox Channel 5 involved.

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And what about Jim Banks, founder of KidCarpet.com? He definitely rolls out the red carpet (pun fully intended) for Fall Fiesta as the Platinum Sponsor. I wonder if next year we should should roll our a silver carpet for him?

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Finally, J.K. and Megan Stewart of Paired Inc. are using their marketing know-how and penchant for design to help in a big way! They have donated a year of their services to CoEd and are tackling several exciting marketing projects (invites! billboards! websites!) to help spread the word.

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Gloria, Victor, Phil, Matthew, George and Michele, Megan and JK are only a few among the stellar businessmen and women impacting Guatemala. There are far too many of you to thank properly here. Thank you for engaging your businesses directly to help serve Guatemalan students! You inspire us with your selflessness, creativity, and desire to make the world a better place.

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