The organizer is Mitzi Perdue, business owner, author, and professional public speaker.
She got into this because on April 11, 2019, she heard Paul Hutchinson, anti-trafficking leader, give a talk on how we can rescue and rehabilitate victims of trafficking. It changed her life.
She wanted to make a donation but realized that donating to his organization, the Child Liberation Foundation, would mean cutting back on other charities she had committed to help. She wanted to make a donation, but as she sat in the audience, she asked herself, “What charity could I cut back on?”
But then she had an idea: “What if I auctioned the 16th Century De Medici desk my late parents gave me and donated the proceeds to Hutchinson’s organization?”
The desk was one of her favorite possessions, but she thought, “This was a gift from my parents. If it raises money to rescue kids from what sounds like hell, that would be worth thousands of times more to me than the desk itself.”
That led her to wonder, “Might other people have items who don’t have available cash, but who would be willing to sell heirlooms to raise funds for anti-trafficking organizations? Paintings…jewelry…china…historical items…anything?”
She began trying the idea out on friends in media, business, finance, Hollywood, sports, high society, even up to and including royalty. They all loved it and wanted in!
They saw what she saw, that donating something to help stop human trafficking would be far more meaningful and satisfying than owning any particular possession.
Contact us today to tell us more about your heirloom donations and the story behind the items.
More About Mitzi Perdue
Mitzi Perdue holds a BA with honors from Harvard University and an MPA from the George Washington University and is a past president of the 35,000-member American Agri-Women. She’s also a former syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard and in the 1990s, her column, The Environment, and You was the most widely-syndicated environmental column in the country. Her television series, Country Magazine, was syndicated to 76 stations.
Mitzi combines the experiences of three long-lasting family businesses. Her father Ernest Henderson co-founded the Sheraton Hotel Chain and her late husband Frank Perdue was the second generation in the poultry company that today does business in more than 50 countries. In 1974 she herself founded CERES Farms, the second-generation family-owned commercial and agricultural real estate investment company that has owned rice fields, commercial and residential real estate, and today, the family vineyards sell wine grapes to wineries such as Mondavi, Bogle, Folie a Deux, and Toasted Head.
She loves to point out that the Henderson family business began in 1840 with the Henderson Estate Company and they have been having yearly family reunions since 1890. If you combine the 179 years since it began, and the 99 years that Perdue Farms has been in business, and the 45 years since the founding of Ceres Farms she represents more than three centuries of family business history.
Recently she authored HOW TO MAKE YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS LAST, Techniques, Advice, Checklists, and Resources for Keeping the Family Business in the Family.