A donation to satisfy any sweet tooth — that’s what Verve, Inc., an environmentally-minded, socially responsible candy company in Rhode Island, is doing by gifting 54,000 bubblegum-filled lollipops to charity.


NAEIR (National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources), a gifts-in-kind organization, gladly received the all-natural gum pops and will in turn be sending them to schools, churches, and other nonprofits.


NAEIR’s specialty is receiving donations of excess inventory from U.S. corporations, then redistributing them to member schools, churches, and charities. The corporations receive a tax deduction equal to up to twice the products’ cost. The nonprofits pay only shipping and handling, plus a modest membership fee.


For companies like Verve, Inc., it’s a smart way to put excess inventory to good use, without discounting or liquidating valuable product.


“We donated to NAEIR in the past and had a great experience,” says Molly Lederer, Verve’s director of communications and marketing. “So, when we found ourselves with a surplus of Glee Gum Pops and a shortage of warehouse space, we knew just whom to turn to.”


To date, NAEIR has received excess inventory from over 8,000 U.S. corporations and redistributed more than $3 billion in products to nonprofits and schools.


The Glee Gum Pops come in strawberry, green apple, and orange flavors, are gluten-free, allergy-friendly, certified kosher, and vegan. Glee Gum is made without artificial flavors, sweeteners and preservatives, and are made with chicle, a tree sap found in the Guatemalan rain forest.


Harvesting chicle can actually help conserve the rainforest while also providing local jobs, Deborah Schimberg, president of Verve, learned while on a visit that inspired her to start the company.


“It’s called product philanthropy,” says Gary C. Smith, president and ceo of NAEIR , the largest gifts-in-kind non-profit in the U.S.


But as he points out, “I think the kids will be more impressed with their sweet taste and in blowing some awesome bubbles.”