Georgetown Undergraduate Sparks Hope and Raises Funds for Medical Workers with Lawn Sign Business
While many of us remain apart from our loved ones due to COVID-19, the new social distancing era has people looking for a sign of hope, and a Georgetown student is putting one right in your front lawn.
Liam Marshall (B’23) started his own business selling “Thank You” signs in his home state of New Jersey to raise funds for medical workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Marshall felt connected to Georgetown’s mission to serve its community through this crisis — now more than ever.
“I was inspired by the school’s Jesuit spirit when starting the fundraiser,” said Marshall. “Additionally, I don’t think I would have been able to succeed in this effort without the entrepreneurship opportunities I was presented with this year.”
He drew on his entrepreneurship experience he gained from his first-year seminar with Georgetown Entrepreneurship and its student club, Georgetown Ventures. Both focus on empowering young entrepreneurs with the sustained resources necessary to take their ideas to the next level. As a freshman, Marshall currently is undecided, but is thinking of majoring in finance and management.
“Liam is the perfect example of what we teach at Georgetown Entrepreneurship, where our core belief is that entrepreneurship can be the most powerful force for good in the world,” said Jeff Reid, founding director, Georgetown Entrepreneurship. “Liam saw a problem and got busy creating a solution, using this mindset to directly help thousands of frontline workers.”
The budding entreprenuer’s business has not only helped essential healthcare workers, but also allowed Marshall to buy signs from a local company in an effort to support local businesses during the pandemic. He orders from two manufacturers within 10 minutes of his home.
“Many small businesses have been negatively impacted,” said Marshall. “I wanted to do my part in stimulating the business of a local sign company.”
His friends and family have been a tremendous help, as they assist with sign delivery and assembly. Marshall has started a grassroots movement, motivating his classmates from across the United States to spark hope in their hometowns. Currently, two other students, Kate Gilles (B’23) in California, and Madeleine Meier (B’23) in New York, have started creating and selling signs to raise funds.
“I am reminded of the importance in giving back to your community in any way you can,” said Marshall. “This fundraiser has both inspired and challenged me to be a better person, student, and entrepreneur.”
Proceeds from every sign sold goes to Feed the Frontline, a charitable initiative to feed healthcare workers. To date, Marshall has sold over 3,000 signs and has raised nearly $30,000 with the help of his friends and family. He continues delivering the signs to seven local towns in his area and is working to build a scalable model with templates and guides for others to start their own lawn sign fundraiser.