In Baytown, Texas, Michelle Bitterly owns and operates Awards & Engraving, a one-stop-shop for awards, engraving, promotional products, and personalization.
Recently, the company donated to a local food pantry despite facing a mandatory closure on March 24 due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Bitterly tells GRAPHICS PRO, “I spent the next several days (following the closure), like everyone else, trying to figure out what in the world was happening and what in the world were we going to do. Although I sent everyone home, I was here every single day working the situation.”
Bitterly used the downtime to her advantage and took inventory, organized everything in the office, and worked on getting a warehouse renovation finished up. In May, the shop was able to resume regular hours after being deemed an essential business—printing and providing PPE products to customers.
She adds, “We are trying to come up with new items that will help folks get through this pandemic and get us to our new normal.”
Despite owning a business when financial uncertainty and unknowns are at an all-time high for many, Bitterly says she wanted to give back to those in need. “It just seemed like the least we could do.”
Throughout June, Awards & Engraving put out a promotion for a cup and mask bundle, with a portion of the sales going to The Hearts and Hands of Baytown, a local food pantry. Bitterly says the sale didn’t go as expected, but she and her husband were committed to making a contribution.
On July 9, Bitterly presented The Hearts and Hands of Baytown with a $1,000 check.
“I honestly didn’t do it for any type of recognition,” Bitterly explains. “I just knew they needed some assistance and we were able to help. When God puts something like this on your heart, you don’t question it.”