Archive for Thursday, February 16, 2006

Association puts its stock in sweet smells to raise funds

February 16, 2006

Donating to charity never smelled so good.

A local group, the Spirit Bag Association, is donating a portion of its profits this month to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Leavenworth County.

The association sells Spirit Bags containing a jar candle, a votive candle, a sachet and "Spirit Beans," wax that can be melted to let off fragrance. The contents are all made from Mia Bella soy-based candles made in Pennsylvania, said Deb Monahan, president of the Spirit Bag Association.

The bags sell for $25, and $5 goes to the association's selected charity of the month. Bags are sold at Dillons, 720 Eisenhower Road, or can be ordered from participating businesses, such as Roberts Retail Liquors, 619 N. Main St.

The association was formed last summer from a collaboration of Leavenworth businesswomen, said Monahan, who also owns Deb's Riverview Kennel.

So far, the group has raised $420 for Alliance Against Family Violence, $455 for Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society and $505 for local victims of Hurricane Katrina.

In March, donations will go to the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, and Monahan said she hoped to work with the Leavenworth K-9 program in the future.

Monahan said the Spirit Bag Association "can help any kind of organization."

"Anybody who starts an organization can use a little funding," she said.

Groups interested in being the association's charity of the month can call the Spirit Bag Hotline, 651-4140. Businesses that want to carry Spirit Bags can call the same number, Monahan said.

The association is serious about its mission to help local charities and hopes to expand into Kansas City. The group already has begun selling Spirit Bags in Lawrence and Topeka, where the profits go to groups in those cities.

The idea also caught on in Pennsylvania and Texas, leading Monahan to believe Spirit Bags could spread nationwide.

"Our hope is we see this becoming just as important as the Red Cross," Monahan said.

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