October 8, 2008
Last year, an estimated $8 billion went unused on gift cards. After realizing the amount of money that goes to waste on the popular gift alternative, Oklahoma Baptist University students Peter Wilson and Ryan Womack started the non-profit organization GiveCards.org with hopes to collect unused balances on gift cards and turn that money into cash for charities.
GiveCards.org selected charities to support including Blood:Water Mission, The Salvation Army and The America Heart Association, with the final percentage of funds going to urgent disaster relief.
Wilson and Womack want to provide its donors an avenue where they can express their love to thousands of people all over the world by the donation of unused gift cards balances for the improvement of the environment, the community and the individual, as indicated in their motto: Give Hope. Give Love. GiveCards.
"We are trying to create a movement," said Wilson, a senior from Bethany, Okla. Womack is a junior from Oklahoma City.
GiveCards.org kicked off its campaign in September during OBU's Global Outreach Week. The organization will be collecting gift cards at different events around Oklahoma.
Christian recording artists Jars of Clay hosted a show, along with a question-and-answer time, about their organization Blood:Water Mission on Sunday, Oct. 5, at Oklahoma Christian University. GiveCards.org collected gift cards at the event to benefit Blood:Water Mission. To date, the new organization has collected about $400.
Donations may be sent through the mail; postage is covered by the organization. For information about how to send in your unused gift cards, and to access the free postage instructions, go to http://www.givecards.org/.