Gift for Life & Retail Design Institute Partner for Holiday Pop-Up Shop —Product Donations Urgently Needed—

October 7, 2015—Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ sole national charity, has partnered with the Retail Design Institute of NY to create a holiday pop-up shop to be built and operated in Chelsea this December.  Gift and home décor product donations are needed from the industry, for the student competition determining the store concept and design and for in-store retail sales during the holiday season.  All proceeds will benefit DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, Gift for Life’s sole beneficiary.

Through the Retail Design Institute’s “Iron Design” Student competition, six teams of students from top New York design schools will create a Holiday Pop-Up shop featuring products donated by industry suppliers.  Working with two professional mentors, each team will have two hours to design.  The winning design will be installed in the Stockman-Siegel Showroom in Chelsea, and the Holiday Pop-Up Shop will be open to the public in early December.

“This is an exciting first-ever collaboration with the Retail Design Institute,” said Frank Joens, chair of the Gift for Life board.  “It offers our industry a unique way to support the fight against HIV/AIDS, while also promoting store design, which is an essential element of retail success.”

Product donations are being sought from industry manufacturers and sales agencies.  The number of items needed varies by price point, with 24 needed for items with a retail value of $10-25 each; 12 needed for items retail price point of $25-49; 8 needed for items with a retail price point of $50-75; and 6 needed for items with a retail price point of $75-100.  To donate, contact Steven Williams by October 9, at or 646-380-4202.  Product donations must be shipped for receipt by November 13.

The “Iron Design” student competition will be held on Wednesday, October 14 at Steelcase in New York City.  There will be an Opening Night Reception on World AIDS Day, Wednesday, December 1, from 6-9 PM; and the Holiday Pop-Up Shop will be open to the public from December 2-6, 9 AM—5 PM, in the Seigel & Stockman Showroom, located at 126 West 25th Street in New York City.

Each year, Gift for Life hosts events throughout the U.S. benefitting DIFFA. The primary mission of Gift for Life and DIFFA is to eradicate the AIDS pandemic in the U.S. Working together, Gift for Life and DIFFA will continue to raise funds for HIV/AIDS service and education programs. For additional information, visit  Follow Gift for Life’s efforts via its free e-newsletter, available at


Gift for Life unites the gift and home industries against AIDS with more than $5 million raised since its inception in 1992. In 2008, Gift for Life selected DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the U.S., as its sole charity partner. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design communities to provide more than $41 million to hundreds of AIDS organizations nationwide. More information is available at and at


The Retail Design Institute (RDI) is a collective of architects, interior designers, design students and educators, store planners, lighting designers, graphic designers, visual merchandisers, brand strategists and trade suppliers to the retail industry who promote the advance and collaborative practice of creating selling environments.