CONCORD (KPIX 5) She’s created a unique style of giving that makes giving stylish. This week’s Jefferson Award winner uses women’s love of fashion as a force for good, and as a result, hundreds of charities have a new way of raising money.
When Christena Reinhard cleaned out her sister-in-law’s closet, she hauled out 22 boxes of designer clothing.
“We sold the contents,” she recalled
She gave the proceeds to a nonprofit benefiting inner city youth.
“We raised $43,000 and we built a MacIntosh computer lab from old sweaters and handbags!” Reinhard reported.
Reinhard, a personal shopper and professional fundraiser, was onto something.
“We were like, ‘Oh my gosh, other women have stuff in their closets!’ So I wrote a business plan, I quit my job, and we started Union and Fifth.”
Union and Fifth is a three-year-old nonprofit that raises money for charities by reselling donated, new or gently-used designer women’s fashions at its Walnut Creek pop-up store or on its website at up to 90% off retail prices.
“When we sell the item, we hand off 75% of the net proceeds to the charity the donor has chosen,” Reinhard explained.
The remaining 25% goes toward running the nonprofit.
Reinhard says everyone wins: the donor gets a tax deduction, buyers get discounted fashion, and charities receive much-needed funding.
So far, Union and Fifth has sold thousands of items and given nearly $750,000 to more than 330 charities.
Take Project Glimmer, a San Francisco nonprofit that gives jewelry and makeup to at-risk women and girls. Executive director Chrissy Shea hopes to expand with $20,000 she expects to raise through Union and Fifth.
“I have been amazed at how much fundraising has come through!” Shea said.
So for fashioning a new model of charitable giving, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Christena Reinhard.