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Local Entrepreneur Creates Snow Globe Business to Pay It Forward
Though Dayton native Kelly Lehman moved from the area with her military family when she was just 10 years old, her love for the region drew her back years later to make it her home. After attaining degrees from Sinclair Community College and Antioch University, Kelly established Stewardship Resources in 1997 to provide an outlet for her entrepreneurial passion. Since then, the company has evolved into a social enterprise through Global Love Dayton, a limited edition line of snow globes created by Kelly with the support of her husband, Joe Lehman. The globes are produced by an Australian sculptor and Chinese manufacturer. Fifty percent of the globe’s net proceeds from sales go to the Stewardship Resources Foundation Fund of The Dayton Foundation, from which Kelly and Joe make grants to support local nonprofit organizations.
The snow globes celebrate and support our region’s many local treasures and landmarks, including the Dayton Art Institute, aviation heritage sites and the community’s rich parks and recreational offerings. One of the globes Kelly created includes Deeds Carillon at Carillon Historical Park, where she and Joe were married in 2011.
Tell us about Global Love Dayton and what inspired you to create your business.
Global Love Dayton is a line of snow globes featuring some of the treasured landmarks in our community. The strong, single women who raised me, my mother Jocelyn James Short and my grandmother Eleanor James, were native Daytonians who loved the city and made me love it too. When Joe retired in 2010 and joined me in Dayton, I wanted to find work with a flexible schedule to allow for visiting grandchildren and out-of-town friends. While searching for a gift for a friend who collected snow globes, I discovered there were none that represented Dayton in any local shops so I created Global Love Dayton.
What causes and organizations have you supported through Global Love Dayton.
The primary focus is to give to nonprofit organizations that are stewards of some of our most valuable resources and contribute to our economic vitality. The organizations that are closest to my heart improve the quality of life and level the playing field so all residents have equal access to opportunities. To date, we have been able to support Artemis Center, CityHeart, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Gem City Market, FilmDayton, K12 Gallery & TEJAS, Rebuilding Together Dayton, Victoria Theatre Holiday Elves restoration project, WDPR and Wright State University scholarships.
How can someone get involved or support your efforts?
You can purchase Global Love Dayton globes as gifts for clients, friends and family members to share the beautiful gift of Dayton, as well as provide funds for local charities. Visit www.globallovedayton.com for a listing of retail locations. In addition, nonprofit organizations may contact me to buy a minimum of eight globes wholesale to sell to their contacts and constituents in order to raise funds directly for their work.
What do you love most about Greater Dayton?
Having lived in Dayton from birth to age 10, then spending 15 years as an U.S. Army dependent living all over the world, Dayton always represented “home” in my heart. There’s just something about the innovative spirit of the hard-working and down-to-earth people, the natural beauty and world-class cultural amenities, and the proud history of Dayton. There’s so much to love!
Why is helping others so important to you?
Growing up, my family faced many financial hardships and difficulties, but we received help over the years that made a difference in our lives. I hoped I would be able to help others and pay it forward. I believe, as author and psychologist Ram Dass said, we all are here “just walking each other home.” It feels good if we can make someone’s burden a bit lighter.
How is The Dayton Foundation helping you to help others?
There are two ways The Dayton Foundation helps our family through its Charitable Checking AccountSM Service (CCA). First, the Stewardship Resources Foundation Fund of The Dayton Foundation simplifies my charitable giving and record keeping. Second, because Joe administers Dayton’s 100+ Men giving circle, he benefits greatly from having the Foundation’s assistance by using the CCA service to track members’ quarterly payments and make grant awards.
What advice do you give to others about giving?
Time, talent or treasure...share whatever you can because whatever we have to share matters. Where our individual gifts meet the needs of the community, magic happens!
How would you complete this sentence, “My giving makes me feel____”?
Read more stories about Dayton Foundation donors who were inspired to create a legacy in honor of their loved ones, or to make a difference in their community.
For recent news and updates about The Dayton Foundation, read our press releases online.
IN HIS WORDS
“Towards the end of Cindy’s life, she asked me, ‘After I’m gone, what will there be to say that I was here?’ Establishing this fund was her way to continue reaching out and touching children’s lives, as she did throughout her lifetime.” – John Edgar, donor, on the Remar Family and John and Cindy Edgar Endowment Fund