Palisadian Company Co-Founder Laura Hertz Rolls Out the Impact Box
By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
Gifts for Good Co-Founder Laura Hertz moved to Pacific Palisades one week after marrying her high school sweetheart.
“We love the Palisades,” Hertz said to the Palisadian-Post.
Hertz and husband Ian Drillinger, a deputy sheriff, moved to the Palisades in 2017.
“We’re big outdoorsy people, so we love walking the trails and hiking with our dog, Ghost,” Hertz added. They hike the dog-friendly paths on Temescal and on the backroads at Lachman.
Hertz, 29, is a successful entrepreneur that recently gained recognition in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in the social entrepreneurship category for her work with Gifts for Good.
“Our goal is to take companies’ pre-existing gifting budget and use it as a force for good,” Hertz explained to the Post. “Companies spend five times more on corporate gifts than philanthropy every year. And yet over 50% of corporate gifts end up in a landfill within two years.”
Gifts for Good is “an e-commerce site that sells over 500 products on its website and partners with over 40 different nonprofits,” Hertz explained. “The company supports charitable causes in more than 19 states and 65 countries.”
Fresh on the market in 2019, Hertz is excited about The Impact Box.
“It’s the first gift box in Los Angeles where every product is made in LA by a nonprofit or social enterprise,” Hertz shared.
“The LA Impact Box is in partnership with LA Original,” Chief Impact Officer Jenise Steverding said to the Post. “LA Original works with makers of products and we are the designer/maker of this box.”
Each box features the same three items: a candle, key chain and wood cutting board. The products inside the box are from three cause partners: Would Works, The Giving Keys and Light 4 Life Cause.
Gifts for Good donates 10% to the Downtown’s Women’s Center in LA.
“We hire the fulfillment arm of Goodwill Southern California to assemble the boxes, which employs individuals with intellectual disabilities,” Steverding said.
“We’re making physical products and providing jobs to people in need,” Hertz said. “In 2019 alone, Gifts for Good provided 21,197 hours of job training to people with barriers to employment, including 480 hours of job training to women transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles.”
The company’s cause categories include women at risk, children in need, environment, economic development, health and animal welfare.
Before heading to university, Hertz deferred her acceptance and volunteered for AmeriCorps—a team-based program “deemed the Domestic Peace Corp” where she completed national community service work.
“She is the recipient of the Bronze Congressional Service Award—the highest award given by any U.S. legislative body—which recognizes ‘initiative, service and achievement in young people,’” the Gifts for Good website reports.
Hertz graduated with a Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship from the USC Marshall School of Business in 2016 after completing her undergraduate at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business studying business administration.
Gifts for Good is co-founded with Jerry Eisenberg, one of Hertz’s classmates from business school. After six months of the research and development phase, the business launched its e-commerce site on November 9, 2017.
“He is fantastic,” Hertz shared. “I’m in my 20s and he’s in his 60s, doing phase two of his career. He was in real estate for 30 years. We started this as a class project and we looked at each other and said: ‘This is a pretty good idea, maybe we should work on it.’ We have had pretty good success the last couple of years.”
For not yet reaching her 30s, Hertz has led a full life.
She’s a cancer survivor since 2014 and is on the board for the American Cancer Society. She is currently working on a nationwide initiative focused on celebrating cancer survivors “beyond the bell” (life after treatment), according to Dan Witzling, executive director of Los Angeles Central Coast Area at American Cancer Society
Hertz is looking forward to celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day in June.