Emily Elizabeth Douglas
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Emily Elizabeth Douglas
Emily Douglas
Emily Elizabeth Douglas Headshot1.jpg
Born (1982-03-24) March 24, 1982 (age 38)
Columbus, Ohio, United States

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.[1]

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.[2]


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.[3] 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.[4][5]

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.[6] 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".[6] After her grandmother died, Douglas, at the age of eleven, "missed her so much, so I decided to [Grandma's Gifts] in her memory".[6]

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.[6]

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".[7]

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.[8]


  1. ^ "Battelle for Kids: Staff Directory". www.BattelleForKids.org. Archived from the original on 2009-08-29.
  2. ^ a b "People Magazine Article: Helping Kids in Appalachia". www.people.com.
  3. ^ Thorne, Judy. "Grandma's Gifts: Emily Douglas is out to change the world" (PDF). Kappa Delta Sorority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ Minnema, Lindsay (2009-02-23). "Fisher conference hopes to inspire students to fight poverty". The Lantern. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2009.
  5. ^ "Grandma's Gifts: Emily Douglas, Age 26 Founder & Executive Director: 1993-Date". www.grandmasgifts.org. Archived from the original on 2009-05-05.
  6. ^ a b c d Yost, Denise (2010-07-02). "Woman Collects Supplies, Honors Grandmother For 17 Years". WCMH-TV. NBC. Retrieved .[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ ""I truly believe that in today's world when you're not learning, you're falling behind." - Emily Douglas, USA". Daily Edventures. April 7, 2014. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Grandma's Gifts Awards & Recognitions". Grandma's Gifts Inc. Archived from the original on 2010-06-04.
  9. ^ "Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity Announces 2010 Siena Medalist Recipient". Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity. Retrieved 2010.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Forty Under 40 Honoree: Emily Douglas". Business First of Columbus. 2010-05-28. Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2010.
  11. ^ "5/27/10: Forty Under 40 Awards Celebration". Business First. 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ "Glamour Magazine's Sally Hanson Best of You finalist". Glamour Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth". L'Oreal Paris.
  14. ^ "Hannity's America as the Hero of the Week". YouTube.
  15. ^ "Grad Student's 'Gifts' Has Helped Rural Poor". The Lantern.
  16. ^ "Making Great Things Happen". Kappa Delta Sorority. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26.
  17. ^ "Emily Douglas: A Profile In Community Leadership". The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Archived from the original on 2011-07-09.
  18. ^ "Women Offering Wisdom Podcast". Women Offering Wisdom. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28.
  19. ^ Norwood, Dianna (2007-03-29). "Student gives Grandma's Gifts". The Lantern. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2009.
  20. ^ "Give Ohio Hometown Heroes the Perfect Gift This Season - Your Vote!". PR Newswire. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2010.
  21. ^ a b Murphy, Steven (2003). "2002-2003 Service to Mankind Award Recipient". Sertoma Service to Mankind. p. 13. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 2009.
  22. ^ "American Profiles, Honoring Grandma". American Profile. Archived from the original on 2009-01-09.
  23. ^ Wagner, Vivian (2003-06-07). "Hometown Hero: Honoring Grandma". Ellensburg Daily Record. Retrieved 2010.
  24. ^ "The Power Of Interconnection". Shift In Action. Archived from the original on 2010-10-12.
  25. ^ "The 2001 recipients of the Temple Award". Institute of Noetic Sciences. Archived from the original on 2010-06-12.
  26. ^ "The Honorable Lynne V. Cheney Delivers Keynote Address At Fifth Annual Seventeen/Cover Girl Volunteerism Awards". PR Newswire. 2002-04-24. Retrieved 2009.
  27. ^ "Student Has a Lot To Give". Miami University.
  28. ^ "Giraffe Heroes Database: Emily Douglas". Giraffe.org. 2001. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2009.
  29. ^ "Jefferson Award Winners". The American Institute for Public Service.
  30. ^ "Jefferson Award Video". YouTube.
  31. ^ a b c "Student has a lot to give". Miami University News. 2001-01-22. Retrieved 2009.
  32. ^ "2000 Yoshiyama Award For Exemplary Service To The Community Recipients". The Hitachi Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved .
  33. ^ "Steak Escape Awards Grants Across Nation". QSR Magazine. 2000-01-07. Retrieved 2009.
  34. ^ "Lewis Hine Award". National Child Labor Committee.
  35. ^ "1999 Young Adult National Caring Award Winner". The Caring Institute. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved .
  36. ^ "Past Leadership for a Lifetime Award Winners". Leadership Worthington. 2003. p. 6. Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2009.
  37. ^ "Making an Impact" (PDF). The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. p. 16. Retrieved 2009.
  38. ^ a b Perry, Susan K. (September 2008). Catch the Spirit: Teen Volunteers Tell How They Made a Difference. Franklin Watts. ISBN 0-531-11883-5. Retrieved .

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