Siddhesh Joshi

Emily Elizabeth Douglas

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Name  Emily Douglas

Emily Elizabeth Douglas
Born  March 24, 1982 (age 33) (1982-03-24) Columbus, Ohio, United States
Residence  Powell, Ohio, United States
Education  Miami University, Worthington Kilbourne High School

Organizations founded  Grandma's Gifts

Emily Elizabeth Douglas (born March 24, 1982) is the founder and executive director of Grandma's Gifts Incorporated. She is from Powell, Ohio, and currently works for Battelle for Kids.


Grandma's Gifts is a charity organization that works to provide goods and services to children and families in Appalachia. To date, over 12 million dollars in goods and services have been provided. Additionally, over 650,000 books have been donated to needy children, daycares, hospitals, and libraries; more than 10,000 pounds of food have been given to families, battered woman's shelters, and food pantries. The organization is run by volunteer youth and young adults.


Douglas attended Worthington Kilbourne High School and received a B.A. in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2004, where she graduated Kappa Delta. She holds a Master of Labor and Human Resources degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Grandma's Gifts

In 1993, Emily Douglas founded Grandma's Gifts in memory of her grandmother, Norma Ackison, who died of breast and lung cancer in 1991 at the age of 60. One of 11 children, Ackison was an infant when her father died. She survived during the Great Depression because of her neighbor's charity. When she grew up, she returned the kindness to others. Douglas stated that when she was a child, she would accompany her grandmother to the store to purchase canned goods and clothes for veterans. As a six-year-old, Douglas believed the goods were "for me". After her grandmother died, Douglas, at the age of eleven, "missed her so much, so I decided to [Grandma's Gifts] in her memory".

In the first year of Grandma's Gifts, Douglas wrote letters to her parent's friends who donated $300 to the cause. That year, she purchased Christmas presents and clothes for four impoverished children in Lawrence County, Ohio. Three years later, when Douglas was 14 years old, her parents drove her to a house that lacked phones to grant a boy's Christmas wish. The boy wanted a new coat, and after he received it, his mother wept. Thereafter, Douglas became devoted to charity.

Douglas has traveled and spoken to more than 2,000,000 adults and children across the United States about community service, youth activism, service learning, Appalachia, literacy, and her organization. She has testified before the Ohio General Assembly and the United States Congress. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has received multiple awards for her work as a youth activist and young adult social entrepreneur.


Emily is currently the Director of Human Capital at Battelle for Kids. She also keeps the K-12 Talent Manager blog for Education Week, the world largest education focused newspaper, where she writes about strategic human resources, process improvement, leadership, and change management in education.

In 2014, Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Microsoft Education, named Emily a "Daily Hero in Education".

Selected awards

A list, by year, of the awards and recognitions presented to Grandma's Gifts or Emily Douglas on behalf of the organization and her work in education, health, and leadership.

  • 2010
  • Siena Medal from Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • American City Business Journals's Forty Under 40 award
  • 2009
  • Glamour Magazine's Sally Hanson Best of You finalist
  • 2008
  • L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Finalist
  • People Magazine full page article, "Helping Kids in Appalachia"
  • 2007
  • Hannity's America as the Hero of the Week, Fox News
  • The Honorable Order of Cincinnatus
  • 2006
  • Volvo For Life Awards, Semi-Finalist
  • Featured as a guest speaker on Senator Bill Bradley's Sirius Satellite Radio Show, American Voices
  • 2003
  • International SERTOMA, Service to Mankind Award
  • Tri-State/Regional, Ohio, & Powell SERTOMA, Service to Mankind Award
  • American Profiles, Hometown Hero
  • 2002
  • 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
  • 2001
  • 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
  • 2000
  • 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
  • 1999
  • 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
  • ReACT Take Action Award
  • 1998
  • Freedoms Foundation, George Washington Honor Medal
  • National Institute for Public Service Best Practice Model
  • Appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show as one of Oprah's Angels, in recognition of Grandma's Gifts
  • 1997
  • The Columbus Dispatch's Community Service Award
  • Worthington Optimist Club Award Recipient
  • Columbus Parks and Recreation Kidspeak, Community Service Award
  • 1996
  • Prudential Spirit of Community Award, National Awardee
  • Prudential Spirit of Community Award, State Awardee
  • References

    Emily Elizabeth Douglas Wikipedia

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