RetailROI Raises $210K with First Virtual Event

Since 2011, the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) has worked with the retail industry to raise funds to help vulnerable children worldwide. In that time, the organization has mobilized more than $4 million to help more than 229,000 children. Its annual event has been held in New York City on the Saturday prior to the NRF Big Show, bringing together retail executives and solution providers with a variety of charities and people who have benefitted from the group’s work.

On a personal note, it’s an inspirational day that I have enjoyed as a welcome beginning to a hectic week at the Javits Center.

Greg Buzek, founder of RetailROI, shared some of the organization’s impressive results over the years:

  • Raised $4.3 million;
  • Helped more than 229,000 children;
  • Built and installed 24 computer labs;
  • Helped support 1,550 adoptions;
  • Built 24 schools; and
  • 94% of donations go directly to children in need.

In 2021, RetailROI hosted its first virtual event, raising more than $210,000.


This year, Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels kicked off the day, sharing his experience after finding out at age 35 that he had been a child of the Queens, N.Y. foster care system. Today, in addition to his hip-hop career, he is focused on helping vulnerable children.

Part two of the event featured stories about some of the charities and companies RetailROI has worked with over the years, including Congregations for Kids, Lifesong Haiti, Both Hands Foundation and Electronic Recycling Solutions.

Finally, before breaking out into individual meetings, the event featured a discussion about how retail companies are managing their workforces during and beyond COVID-19. Paula Rosenblum from RSR Research moderated a discussion with J. Jill CIO and CDO Deanna Steel and Vitamin Shoppe COO Andy Laudato.

The execs addressed issues including the pluses and minuses of a varied and dispersed workforce, implications of remote working on IT organizations and its impact on company culture.

The 2021 virtual RetailROI event is available for OnDemand Viewing at The event was funded by Keynote Sponsors Salesforce, Esri and Infor; Gold Level Sponsors Intel, Aptos and Ring Central; Silver Sponsor HP, Inc; and Bronze Sponsors Itasca Retail, IHL Group, Legion Technologies and The Parker Avery Group.

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