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We are inspired by the millions of eBay sellers that use our marketplace to pursue their passions. Earlier this year, inspired by your stories, we launched our first annual U.S. seller recognition program, the Shine Awards for Small Business.
Laurie Wong’s story embodies the core values of our community and marketplace and that’s why our judges crowned her Grand Prize Winner and 2016 Small Business of the Year.
As founder and owner of Reflections of Trinity, a charitable organization helping underserved residents of various Atlanta suburbs, Laurie uses the eBay for Charity program to fill an important need in her community.
In 2012, with profits from her eBay store she launched a food pantry that distributes groceries to hundreds of deserving families every Saturday. But for several years, Laurie has dreamt of expanding the pantry to serve even more community members. In order to do this, the pantry desperately needed a commercial walk-in freezer.
Despite the success of her eBay business, buying a new $10,000 walk-in freezer for the pantry was still out of reach. After exploring a handful of 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.
But winning the SHINE Awards 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 located just 30 minutes away from Laurie’s community and sells commercial restaurant equipment. Moved by Laurie’s story, John and his team not only convinced the freezer’s manufacturer to knock $1,000 off the price, but also donated an additional $5,000 towards the freezer, helping to stretch the winnings to also cover the installation costs.
We couldn’t be more proud of Laurie, the impact she’s made on her community, and the way she’s inspired other sellers to give back through her SHINE win. Regardless of what kind of seller you are, we hope you all consider applying for next year’s SHINE Awards - make sure to check back on the blog for updates and links!
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