About Shine and Inspire
Shine and Inspire, Inc. is a non-profit organization, 501(c)3, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for Mercer County, New Jersey residents through the charitable gifts of local businesses and members of the community. Shine and Inspire is based on the idea of “pay it forward:” as part of the application process, applicants will be asked to describe how they in turn will give back to the community.
Carol Feldman, Founder of Shine and Inspire, had always wanted to start a nonprofit. She loved television shows like “Home Makeover” and “Secret Millionaire” and was fascinated by the idea of making a difference in people’s lives with a gift.
“I also believe in the idea of giving back, of “paying it forward.” I wanted my nonprofit to not just be about us giving, but about empowering the people we give to by encouraging them to also give something.”
“If we help you to shine, what will that inspire you to do?”
Shine and Inspire is deliberately open-ended in the kinds of gifts they give. “We want to be less specific,” says Carol. Applicants should ask for something that will make a difference to them. For one person, that might be a new bed to sleep on, for someone else, a room makeover for a sick child. We can make a bathroom handicapped accessible, or we can give a beauty and wardrobe makeover to a mom re-entering the workforce.
Donors in the community supply the goods and the expertise to make the gifts possible.
“We are always looking for donors,” says Carol. “They are what make the model possible, for example, contractors, painters, hairdressers, realtors, career coaches, funeral directors — anybody really!”
“We are also looking forward to partnerships with other nonprofits. We are already partnering with the Rescue Mission of Trenton.”
Shine and Inspire is a Mercer County, NJ nonprofit for now, but Carol hopes the organization will grow and expand to other areas.