|Purpose||To break the cycle of poverty in Appalachia|
Grandma's Gifts is an incorporated, non-profit organization started by Emily Elizabeth Douglas in 1993 at age 11, in memory of her grandmother. The organization provides goods and services to impoverished children and their families while focusing on Appalachian areas of the United States. Since its inception, Grandma's Gifts has raised over 12 million dollars' worth of goods and services while never paying its volunteers.
Norma Ackison, Emily Douglas's grandmother, was the last of twelve children to be born before her father died, leaving her mother to raise twelve children on her own during the Great Depression. Norma grew up in and around poverty until she married her husband Odell Ackison with whom she started a profitable business. Remembering the difficulties of being impoverished, she gave back to her community whenever she could while teaching her children and grandchildren the importance of giving.
In 1989, Norma was diagnosed with breast and lung cancer. After her death in 1991, a then 9-year-old Emily Douglas started drives in her grandmother's name. After two years, an organization formed and was named Grandma's Gifts in honor of Norma Ackison.
Grandma's Gifts was started after a series of projects. In 1993, the group of projects prompted the start of a named organization which was when the name was chosen. In 2002, the organization began operating as a donor advise fund through The Columbus Foundation. In 2008, Grandma's Gifts became an incorporation In 2010 the organization's non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization was finalized.
Since its inception, Grandma's Gifts has raised and distributed over 12.5 million dollars' worth of goods and services to children and their families. The goods and services are distributed by named projects organized by Grandma's Gifts or are donated directly to other non-profit organizations.
Grandma's Gifts has many projects. The projects include:
- Valentines for Veterans - A project where elementary, middle, and high school students create Valentine's Day cards for veterans. Grandma's Gifts distributes the cards to veterans in Chillicothe, Ohio and Huntington, West Virginia.
- Christmas Angel Program - Grandma's Gifts collects and distributes toys, books, and winter apparel to children and their families in their target region.
- Trick-or-Teeth - As Appalachia has the greatest oral health problems per capita in the US, Grandma's Gifts works with middle school, high school, and college students to collect and distribute dental hygiene products and educational material to children and their families through county and city health departments in Appalachia.
- Thanksgiving Turkey Sculpture - Grandma's Gifts collects and distributes frozen turkeys and non-parishable foods to families in need on Thanksgiving. Emily started this project by making a large turkey sculpture out of canned food donated at her elementary school.
- Book Drive - Grandma's Gifts collects and distributes books to children through schools, hospitals, battered family shelters, welfare agencies, and libraries. Since its inception, Grandma's Gifts has donated over 650,000 books to children in Appalachia.
- Rainbow Project - Grandma's Gifts collects and distributes school supplies to schools and children in Appalachian areas devastates by storms.
Using monetary donations, Grandma's Gifts supplies children with educational experiences and donates directly to other non-profit organizations. Examples include:
- Academy of Excellence Scholarship - The Ohio University Southern Campus hosts a two-week-long educational summer camp for children. Grandma's Gifts grants scholarships to children whose family is unable to afford the camp.
- COSI & Columbus Zoo - The organization uses monetary donations to connect students with the Columbus Center of Science and Industry, a science museum, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium by arranging field trips to Columbus, Ohio and on-site "COSI on Wheels" trips to Appalachian school districts.
Grandma's Gifts encourages students to do service for children their own age through public speaking. Emily Douglas speaks to students about her experiences with giving. She encourages the students to start their own projects by showing them easy way to do so and that she was only nine years old when she started her own projects. 
Awards and recognitions
Since its inception, several awards have been given to Grandma's Gifts and to Emily Douglas on behalf of Grandma's Gifts. Additionally, Grandma's Gifts has been recognized from its accomplishments by notable organizations. Some of the more notable awards and recognitions include:
- The Siena Medal from Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity
- American City Business Journals's Forty Under 40 award
- Glamour Magazine's Sally Hanson Best of You finalist
- L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Finalist
- Hannity's America as the Hero of the Week, Fox News
- Volvo For Life Awards, Semi-Finalist
- International SERTOMA, Service to Mankind Award
- American Profiles, Hometown Hero
- Miami University, Young Entrepreneur of the Year
- Temple Award for Creative Altruism from the Institute of Noetic Sciences
- Seventeen Magazine Community Service Grand Prize Winner
- Family Circle Magazine, Halo Award
- Selected as a Giraffe by the Giraffe Heroes Project, as a person who all sticks their neck out for the common good
- The American Institute for Public Service, Jefferson Award
- The Hitachi Foundation's, Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community
- Selected as a Paramount/UPN Network Millennium Mentor
- Recipient of the Steak Escape Curious Kid Grant
- National Child Labor Committee, Lewis Hine Award
- President's Service Award, The highest non-military award given to a US citizen for public service
- The Caring Institute, National Youth Caring Award
- Volunteer Ohio, Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year Award
- Freedoms Foundation, George Washington Honor Medal
- Appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show as one of Oprah's Angels, in recognition of Grandma's Gifts
- Prudential Spirit of Community Award, National Award Winner
- Dennis, Alicia (2008-12-15). "Helping Kids in Appalachia". People Magazine. p. 126. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Our Founding". Grandma's Gifts Inc. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Employer Identification Number" (PDF). US Department of the Treasury. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "IRS certified 501(c)(3) organizations". IRS.gov. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Grandma's Gifts GuideStar Profile". GuideStar. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Wagner, Vivian (2003-06-07). "Honoring Grandma". Ellensburg Daily Record. p. 21. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Organization to give out free turkeys to needy". The Ironton Tribune. 2009-12-20. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- Kersey, Lori (2009-12-16). "Students collect food, presents for classmates". The Ironton Tribune. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- Heath, Benita (2009-12-24). "Young Professionals raise $30,000 for holiday gifts". The Ironton Tribune. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- Malloy, David E. (2009-12-24). "Program provides Christmas for more than 400 kids". Huntington, WV: The Herald Dispatch. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- Daulong, Teresa. "Heroes: Emily Douglas". The Hero Construction Company. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- MARTIN, C.A. "Orthodontic Treatment Needs in Appalachian Youth and their Parents". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Rayworth, Melissa (2008-11-27). "How to help kids learn to give at the holidays". Lubbock Online. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Moore, Teresa (2009-01-03). "Grandma's Gifts donates to First United Methodist". The Ironton Tribune. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Events honor youth". The Ironton Tribune. 2000-04-10. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Grandma's Gifts Spring Clean Book Drive". Grandma's Gifts Inc.
- "Volunteering, Reading Focus of Make a Difference Day". The Ironton Tribune. 2000-04-10. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "A day to make a difference". The Ironton Tribune. 2001-10-26. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Teen Read Week". Northwest Columbus News. 2003-10-15. pp. 31A. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee gets Kudos". Upper Arlington News. 2000-10-18. pp. 30A. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Steak Escape Awards Grants Across Nation". QSR Magazine. 2000-01-07. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Worthingway Middle School Plan for Continued Excellence 2009-2010" (PDF). Worthingway Middle School. p. 4. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- James, Mike (2009-06-11). "Summer enrichment at OUS". The Daily Independent. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- "Spotted: COSI Visit at Symmes Valley". The Ironton Tribune. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- Chapman, Jennifer (2009-03-07). "COSI brings scientific learning to Dawson- Bryant" (PDF). The Ironton Tribune. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Philanthropist changes lives". The Ironton Tribune. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- Kersey, Lori (2010-01-14). "Dawson-Bryant students made Christmas brighter for children". Ironton Tribune. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- Yost, Denise (2010-07-02). "Woman Collects Supplies, Honors Grandmother For 17 Years". NBC 4. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- Rayworth, Melissa (2008-11-27). "Help kids learn to give over holidays". The Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity Announces 2010 Siena Medalist Recipient". Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- "Forty Under 40 Honoree: Emily Douglas". Business First of Columbus. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- "5/27/10: Forty Under 40 Awards Celebration". Business First. 2010-05-27. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- "Glamour Magazine's Sally Hanson Best of You finalist". Glamour Magazine.
- "L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth". L'Oreal Paris.
- "Hannity's America as the Hero of the Week". YouTube.
- "Grad Student's 'Gifts' Has Helped Rural Poor". The Lantern.
- "Making Great Things Happen". Kappa Delta Sorority.
- "Emily Douglas: A Profile In Community Leadership". The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.
- "Women Offering Wisdom Podcast". Women Offering Wisdom. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28.
- Norwood, Dianna (2007-03-29). "Student gives Grandma's Gifts". The Lantern. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- "Give Ohio Hometown Heroes the Perfect Gift This Season - Your Vote!". PR Newswire. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- Murphy, Steven (2003). "2002-2003 Service to Mankind Award Recipient". Sertoma Service to Mankind. p. 13. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "American Profiles, Honoring Grandma". American Profile. Archived from the original on 2009-01-09.
- Wagner, Vivian (2003-06-07). "Hometown Hero: Honoring Grandma". Ellensburg Daily Record. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "The Power Of Interconnection". Shift In Action. Archived from the original on 2010-10-12.
- "The 2001 recipients of the Temple Award". Institute of Noetic Sciences. Archived from the original on 2010-06-12.
- "The Honorable Lynne V. Cheney Delivers Keynote Address At Fifth Annual Seventeen/Cover Girl Volunteerism Awards". PR Newswire. 2002-04-24. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Student Has a Lot To Give". Miami University.
- "Giraffe Heroes Database: Emily Douglas". Giraffe.org. 2001. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "Jefferson Award Winners". The American Institute for Public Service.
- "Student has a lot to give". Miami University News. 2001-01-22. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- "2000 Yoshiyama Award For Exemplary Service To The Community Recipients". The Hitachi Foundation.
- "Lewis Hine Award". National Child Labor Committee.
- "1999 Young Adult National Caring Award Winner". wThe Caring Institute.
- "Past Leadership for a Lifetime Award Winners". Leadership Worthington. 2003. p. 6. Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- "Making an Impact" (PDF). The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. p. 16. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- Perry, Susan K. (September 2008). Catch the Spirit: Teen Volunteers Tell How They Made a Difference. Franklin Watts. ISBN 0-531-11883-5. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
- GrandmasGifts.org - Grandma's Gifts Official Website