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Greensburg 'boutique with a heart' helps others

| Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, 11:21 a.m.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Owner Danielle Shaffer and Barbara Davis-Wable of Aw Else Boutique poses for a portrait on January 14, 2014. The boutique donated a portion of Christmas profits to help out the needy through Westmoreland Community Action and continues to sell Bridgewater candles for missions work.

Aw Else Boutique in Greensburg, an accessories boutique on Towne Square Drive, is still working to combine philanthropy with fashion.

Tay Waltenbaugh, CEO of Westmoreland Community Action, said the business managed to raise $600 for needy families, despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

The boutique reached out to local businesses and customers for donations and matched each one. They earmarked 20 percent of their sales toward the program.

“It's really nice to partner with them for that purpose,” Waltenbaugh said. “They do something like this every year and hopefully we'll do it again next year.”

Community Action staff used the money to purchase gifts for children and families. That program has been going on for 25 years.

Westmoreland Community Action, which offers 25 different programs for issues such as energy assistance and drug and alcohol abuse, helps about 51,000 people annually in the county.

Barbara Davis, the mother of boutique owner Danielle Shaffer, works at the store.

“As a child I remember taking packages of food to families in need. It's continued my whole life. Danielle's the same way and has implemented it wonderfully at the store,” Davis said.

Shaffer opened the “boutique with a heart” two years ago and carries Bridgewater Candle Co. candles. A portion of those proceeds go toward the nonprofit Rice Bowls, which feeds orphaned children around the world.

Although the matching program is a first, Aw Else Boutique has given to the community through work with the Westmoreland County Humane Society, as well as participation in cancer and heart disease prevention events.

They have received various certificates to recognize their work, including assisting at career fairs for young women.

And Shaffer said she has “plenty of ideas” to continue the charity work this year

Michele Stewardson is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.