Annual holiday gift box program lifts local businesses, Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant at the same time

Paul Siers calls it a “sustainable fundraiser.”

While plenty of fundraisers utilize gifts and donations in order to raise money, the Heart of Michigan Gift Box program from the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant approaches things differently.

Rather than accept gifts to then turn around and sell, the Rotary Club actually purchases Michigan-made products from local makers at wholesale prices. They then sell those products at retail prices, making money for both the Rotary Club and the small businesses, too.

“With a lot of these small businesses and craft people, their farmers markets and craft fairs have been canceled this year,” Siers says.

“We’ve had people begging to get in these holiday boxes.”

The Heart of Michigan Gift Box program raises funds for the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant, powering both their local and international service projects. Local recipients include the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, the local Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the club’s Student Citizen of the Year scholarship, and many more.

There is a loose deadline of Monday, Dec. 21, to purchase the Gift Boxes, though Siers expects that some of the gift boxes could sell out well before then. He just sent a gift box to Vancouver, Washington this week, he says.

Last year’s fundraiser sold more than 700 gift boxes of Michigan-made products, not only raising money for the Rotary Club but also generating over $11,000 for locally-owned small businesses.

The program has proven so popular that Siers has increased its offerings, doubling the variety of gift boxes from two to four.

“There’s so much good stuff out there, I couldn’t say no to people,” Siers says.

A Deluxe Gift Box runs for $35, two different Cozy Samplers sell for $25 each, and a Mini Sampler is listed at $15.

For a full list of products offered for each Heart of Michigan Gift Box, visit the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant online.

A printable order form is available online. Siers also recommends contacting any member of the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant to purchase a gift box. He can be reached at (989) 423-5633 or

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