The Next Big Give seeks retailers who give back in their communities. Whether spending time serving at a local food bank, holding a fundraising event to benefit a worthy cause or collecting goods for an organization in need – The Next Big Give seeks retailers who make a difference.

The Next Big Give application deadline is tomorrow (!!), so we took a look back at a 2011 finalist, Casey and Sloane Simmons, co-owners of STUFF in Kansas City, and asked them about the importance of giving back. What an inspiration!!
STUFF holds Wings of Hope, a holiday open house benefiting The Susan Henke Miller Breast Cancer Research Fund. The store also raises funds for the Kansas City AIDS Walk through a party called Grab Bag, as well as sponsoring a team during the walk. 
DMC: Why is it important for retailers to give back?

STUFF: Giving is one of the best things we can do. We represent local artists and their work – handcraft is our passion. We share that passion with the world through community outreach and fundraising. Gifts are a majority of what people buy here and giving back is the ultimate gift. The money raised in our store stays in the local charity network and that is by design. If you're giving back for any reason other than to be part of the solutions in your community, then you are giving for the wrong reasons. Giving feels good.

DMC: How can retailers easily incorporate making a difference into their business?

STUFF: Choose a charity you feel strongly about and make them a part of many things you do. Host an event in your store, volunteer with your staff at their events, or let them set up a community awareness table in front of your store during high-traffic weekends. Start small! One charity can be enough and is enough. The best recipe for success on all levels is to make sure the charity "fits" with you. Research them. Make sure they are filling criteria you have, like making sure the money stays local or that people are directly helped.

For more information on The Next Big Give, past finalists or to nominate a retailer, click here.

And, you still have time to nominate a retailer you know that makes a difference. Do it today!