CHATHAM – For some 20 years, the Chatham Candy Manor has offered a selection of hand-made chocolates at the holidays to benefit a local non-profit organization. The “Generous Indulgence” gift box provides a way for the downtown shop to give back to the community.
This year, to help boost the proceeds that will go to this year's beneficiary, Monomoy Community Services (MCS), a special Candy Manor T-shirt is also being sold, with a design by a young fan of the store.
As co-manager Kimberly Marsh tells it, the store received a letter at the end of the summer from seven-year-old Elise of Barrington, R.I., suggesting that the store offer a T-shirt with candy all over. She enclosed a pencil sketch of her idea. Recognizing that this would be a good addition to the Generous Indulgence program, the store wrote back, asking if Elise would mind if they used her idea.
“She gave us permission to use design,” Marsh said, “as long as her name was on it and she gets paid in chocolate seashells.” She also sent a more detailed design that fleshed out her original idea.
Storefront coordinator Andy Wiggin then took over, working with Booster.com to make the T-shirt a reality. The website, which helps local organizations “boost” fundraising through the online sale of T-shirts, took Elise's design and massaged it a bit, adding text. The result is available to buy at www.booster.com/candymanor through Dec. 2, at a cost of $23 for youth and $25 for adult sizes.
Proceeds from those sales will be added to the approximately $2,000 Monomoy Community Services will receive if all 225 of the Generous Indulgence gift boxes are sold. That's likely to happen, since the boxes cost just $18, half of which goes to MCS, and hold a generous assortment of traditional Candy Manor favorites, including special holiday nonpareils.
When Candy Manor owners Naomi Turner and David Veach started the Generous Indulgence program, shops donating a portion of sales to a nonprofit during the holiday season was a relatively new concept, said co-manager Susan Carroll. At first a large basket of goodies was sold, but that only netted a small amount to donate. The smaller, less expensive box of chocolates was later adopted and made the program “more generous,” she said. “It really took off.”
The Candy Manor used the Booster program to help augment fundraising for the Lower Cape Outreach Council, last year's Generous Indulgence beneficiary. It helped raise an additional $800, Carroll said.
Over the year the program has raised money for a variety of local nonprofit organizations, including the Chatham Angel Fund, the Children's Place and the Chatham Orpheum Theater. This is the first time Monomoy Community Services has been the beneficiary. The decision to give to the organization came after a brainstorming session the group held on ways to improve its annual Taste of Chatham event, which the Candy Manor always participates in. The Taste event wasn't held this year, so the additional funds raised through the candy sales would be “huge” for MCS, said Director Theresa Malone.
The agency, which hosts programs for children during the school year and in the summer, is working to get their services better known in town. “They've been terrific about getting the word out about us, to an audience we might not get to,” Malone said of The Candy Manor. “They've really got a philanthropic heart that we've been lucky to be a part of for a long time.”
The gift box also marks the debut of MCS's new logo, which complements the packages design.
The Generous Indulgence gift boxes will be available at The Candy Manor's downtown Chatham store until they are sold out. The T-shirts can be ordered online through Dec. 2; the early deadline is to provide enough time to ship the shirts out in time for holiday giving, Carroll said.