(From the Richmond Times-Dispatch Metro Business section, published Monday, December 14, 2009)
By Louis Llovio
Before you toss the wrapping paper this year, you might want to take a look to see if it was made and packaged in Richmond.
Ink & Paper, a division of the design firm Punch, is designing a line of gift wrap that sold at more than 175 stores across the country, including five in the area.
Its line of wrapping paper, though, also helps out a good cause.
The rolls are assembled at Greater Richmond ARC, the non-profit operation that helps developmentally disabled adults find work and learn vocational skills.
Photo: Raymond Ricks and Scotty Englehart (background) roll holiday wrapping paper for ink & Paper through a partnership with Greater Richmond ARC. Photo by Eva Russo, Times-Dispatch.
By partnering with ARC, Punch has found a way to get a difficult job done while helping out a local non-profit.
Punch sends the paper to ARC in sheets. ARC employees then roll it, affix the label and shrink-wrap it.
The work is done through ARC Industrial Services, which does production work for companies, including labeling, water sealing and bulk-mail sorting.
For the non-profit, working for Ink & Paper is a three-pronged win, said Mike Foley, business development director for ARC. It's an account that helps bring in money to help fund operations, it provides clients work training and promotes ARC's cause.
"It's not a huge amount of profit for us, but the work activity trumps money," Foley said.
The label on each roll contains a message that tells buyers that ARC's mission is to "create life-fulfilling opportunities for individuals with mental retardation and developmental diseases."
Kelly Adams, one of Punch's founders, said the labels, prominently featuring Ink & Paper's name, help spread the word about what ARC does.
"That lets people around the country know about what they do and maybe get someone to consider using their services," she said.
Contact Louis Llovio at (804) 649-6348 or LLLovio@timesdispatch.com.