Each quarter, GreenStar selects three local not-for-profits to be the recipients of our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program donations. Our BYOB program encourages shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they can donate to one of the chosen organizations. At the end of the quarter, we make a donation to the groups based on the number of tokens given by our customers. This quarter, our recipients are the Natural Leaders Initiative, the Friends of Stewart Park, and Wild Things Animal Sanctuary.

Building strong, inclusive, equitable, and sustainable communities requires widespread civic participation and diverse community leadership. To that end, the Natural Leaders Initiative (NLI) has supported the growth of hundreds of local grassroots leaders (largely from low- to moderate-income communities, communities of color, and immigrant communities) and built the inclusive leadership skills of those in established organizations, enabling them to better recognize and include diverse leaders in their work. For some, NLI participation catalyzed their leadership, helping them to see themselves as “leader” for the first time. For others, it elevated their voices or accelerated their leadership path by helping them increase their confidence, take greater leadership, grow their impact, increase their connections, access resources, and build a circle of support for their efforts.

NLI graduates regularly report greater confidence and community engagement, stronger networks, and expanded organizational and community leadership. They share their ideas more openly, more effectively advocate for others, join formal committees and boards, create new projects for unmet needs, join existing initiatives, serve as a bridge between communities, help non-profit and public initiatives better plan, create and deliver effective, culturally relevant services and programs, and join organizational boards, public commissions, grant review teams, workplace committees, and more. At the same time, NLI’s work with established leaders and organizations has helped generate greater receptivity to the value of Natural Leaders’ perspectives and expertise, and has increased their capacity to engage effectively and become more powerful advocates for equity, inclusion, and social change.

Are you involved with a not-for-profit organization that might benefit from this program? Apply to be a recipient here.