Barbara Diebus creates ‘round up’ initiative to donate to local charities
By Christine Craddock
This past fall, Barbara Diebus, owner of Details: A Unique Gift Boutique, began an initiative to give back to the community through her specialty store. During the months of November and December, customers could choose to round up the total of their purchases, with the extra money to be donated to a local charity. During the month of November, proceeds went to the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry, which provides meals to over 600 families each month. December’s charity was the Sweet Julia Grace Foundation, an organization that fulfills wishes for medically fragile children in honor of founder Sara Knight’s daughter Julia Grace. (Read about the Sweet Julia Grace Foundation in the December issue of Haymarket Lifestyle, available in digital format at haymarketlifestyle.com).
Diebus says the initiative was a huge success because her customers were very receptive and willing to help. While some chose to round up to the next dollar, which was the goal, others agreed to the nearest $5 or $10, with one particularly big-hearted customer rounding to the next $100.
The donations to the Haymarket Food Pantry were almost enough to provide meals to those in need for an entire week. “It was really a huge help for the nonprofit,” says board member Eileen Smith. When presented with the check from Diebus for the Sweet Julia Grace Foundation, Knight recognized what a blessing it was for the nonprofit and the families it helps, and what it means for our community. “What we do takes a village, and we are so grateful for ours,” she said.
Diebus does not offer this initiative year-round. She values her customer relationships, and doesn’t want to overwhelm them by asking them to donate every time they visit her store. She specifically chooses months that bring the most revenue for her, maximizing the donation opportunities for her customers; thus the November and December success from holiday shopping. Deibus will offer this opportunity again in May, since the shop will be busy due to Mother’s Day purchases. The recipient of May’s round ups will be the Healing Hearts Respite Foundation.
Diebus has a heart for the community of Haymarket and a desire to give back to local children and families. Providing this opportunity for donations was easy, she says. It was her customers, the people who live and work in our community, who are responsible for its success.
Kim Sproles founded the Healing Hearts Respite Foundation in 2015 as a way for her to help those needing a way to find peace while dealing with the unimaginable circumstances of a life-threatening illness. Inspired by those around her who had experience with these situations, she realized one way to encourage them and help them heal their hearts was to offer them time at her favorite place, the beach. The foundation maintains a beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where these families, couples, or individuals can come together for “rest for weary, encouragement for the heavy-hearted, and hope for the discouraged.” This time for the families is intended to enable them to regroup and gain strength in the midst of treatment, or, for some, to spend the most precious moments before time runs out. The foundation accepts family nominations but gives priority to those with the greatest need. Community members can share in this important cause by making a donation, becoming a corporate sponsor, participating in fundraising opportunities, or even hosting an event. Volunteers are also needed and the organization encourages those looking to help to reach out to them with information about any unique talents or qualifications that could assist the cause.
To learn more about the Healing Hearts Respite Foundation, go to healingheartsrespitefoundation.org, find them on Facebook, or call 1-877-864-8305.
Details: A Unique Gift Boutique
The store, originally named Details for the Home, opened in 2002 with an array of unique products, mostly home decor items. A few years later, Diebus changed the focus to speciality and gift items when she realized there was a need in the local area. The store carries brands such as Pandora, Brighton, Vera Bradley, and many other sometimes hard-to-find brands. The store is an eclectic mix of home decor, jewelry, glassware, clothing, purses, and other items that make perfect gifts. To shop or see what Details has to offer, go to shopatdetails.com, call 703-754-0000 or stop by 6590 Jefferson Street in Haymarket.