This year, inspired by our vibrant seller community, eBay launched its first seller recognition program in the United States, the Shine Awards for Small Business. From more than 1,000 entries, 15 finalists were chosen and one in particular stood out above the rest.
Laurie Wong is the founder and owner of Reflections of Trinity, a charitable organization helping underserved residents of Powder Springs, a small community outside of Atlanta. Laurie impressed our judges with her personal story and her ability to power her organization through the eBay for Charity program and was ultimately chosen as the Grand Prize winner and 2016 Small Business of the Year.
It was the need for a commercial walk-in freezer that inspired Laurie to enter the contest. The food pantry Reflections of Trinity supports had been in desperate need of one for years. Without it the pantry could no longer expand to serve additional community members in dire need of its services.
After exploring numerous fundraising avenues with no luck, Laurie felt demoralized and began to think that the freezer and her mission to expand the food pantry were becoming a distant dream. On a whim, with just hours left in our contest, Laurie said a prayer and submitted her application. Winning the contest’s grand prize of $10,000 would be enough to cover the cost of the freezer.
But winning the exact amount she needed wasn’t the only stroke of luck for Laurie. Through the awards she was introduced to eBay seller and family category finalist John Stack of ACityDiscount, who is not only located just 30 minutes away from Powder Springs, but incidentally sells commercial restaurant equipment.
With the winnings in hand and the help of John’s expertise Laurie finally purchase that freezer she’s been dreaming about. The freezer will double the pantry’s weekly capacity, going from 450 boxes of groceries to 1000, which Laurie estimates will service an additional 2,200 members in various surrounding communities. “This Thanksgiving, we will not have to drive two hours to get hundreds of turkeys, we can store them right here at Reflections of Trinity,” explains Laurie.
The next step for the charity is the purchase of a new refrigerated boxed truck, which will add products like milk and eggs to the pantry’s grocery offerings. “I’m confident that through the partnership we have with eBay, these milestones are not only possible, but will happen in the near future.”
On Saturday October 8, during their weekly service day, Laurie and her staff held a small ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the arrival of their brand new freezer with community members and elected officials, including Powder Springs mayor, Al Thurman.
We couldn’t think of an individual or organization more deserving. Congratulations to Laurie and the entire Reflections of Trinity team! eBay was honored to be a part of this special milestone and humbled to be able to have a positive impact on this small Georgia community.