After years in social work, Erika Righter wanted to better connect the public with the work of helping others. In February of 2012, she decided to combine her two passions — giving back and gift shopping — and the Hope Tank was born in Denver's Baker neighborhood. The shop donates a portion of every sale to local and national nonprofits, including those that work with people living with disabilities and ones that do racial and social injustice work.
"I knew that for our community to actually make change, people needed to know that they were a part of that ecosystem," said Righter who decided to start her for-profit social enterprise after the adoption agency she worked for closed its doors and she found herself recently married, newly pregnant and without a job.
Like many small businesses, the Hope Tank had to close to the public when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. In fact, its doors were closed for 87 long days and Righter had to lay off her staff. Righter talked to I Am Denver about the store’s ongoing mission, what the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for business and why it's important to shop local all year long.
Support the Hope Tank by visiting its online shop.