Bay City gift boutique ties products to local charities, donating proceeds

It was six years ago when Terri King decided to donate the proceeds of the sales of a Christmas ornament to charity.

King, owner of Bay City gift boutique My Secret Garden, carries a wide variety of items, from fashion to food, gift boxes and more. Many of the products she carries have ties to charities, companies that donate goods or services for every item sold.

Why, then, couldn’t she do the same thing?

That’s when King got the idea for the ornaments. A specific ornament is selected each year and every time that ornament is sold, the proceeds go to the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission.

The program has proven so successful that King has opened it up to a number of products and charities. What’s more, many of the charities are local.

In 2018, sales of the Giving Scarf raised more than $2,000 for the Bay Area Women's Center.It’s not only limited to the holidays, either. Customers can find charity-connected items throughout the year. Still, this season is especially popular.

"People collect the ornaments each year," King says. "It’s worked so well that I thought that there are so many other organizations in need and that I can help them out, too."

The Beads for Feed program shares part of its proceeds with Hidden Harvest. The VIP Gift Box benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Motown Soups helps raise money for Michigan’s homeless population.

A relatively recent charity item is the Giving Scarf. It’s one of the more popular of the products.

The Giving Scarf raises money for Bay Area Women's Center. My Secret Garden helped raise $2,410 for the center with last year’s proceeds.

Last year’s scarf sold out before Christmas. King ordered more this year.

"This is important to me because I’m not just in the business of selling things; I’m in the business of finding perfect gifts to give," King says.

"I want to be more than a person just selling stuff. I want to do more."

My Secret Garden is located at 600 Saginaw St. in Bay City.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

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