Former NFL running back Jackie Battle and his wife, Christine, opened Philanthropy in March to offer women’s clothing as well as an outlet for charitable giving in The Woodlands.
After Battle retired from playing football three years ago, the couple decided to open the first franchise of Philanthropy in The Woodlands.
“I’m a retired NFL player, and my last two years I was with the Titans in Tennessee,” he said. “My wife discovered the flagship store of Philanthropy there. We knew we wanted to open up our own business and incorporate our faith in it. My wife suggested Philanthropy, and I fell in love with the concept of combining business and ministry.”
Although the boutique offers a variety of women’s clothing, including dresses, tops, pants and shoes as well as accessories, jewelry and home decor, Battle said what makes the store unique is items that give back to the community, like bags that can be bought for individuals who are homeless.
Philanthropy sells $20 black bags that say “Not Forgotten,” which are for homeless people and filled with supplies and nonperishable goods. The bags also feature a letter saying the person who is receiving the bag is valued and loved, Battle said.
Besides offering bags for the homeless, Philanthropy also offers t-shirts for charities.
“We have all these T-shirts that represent charities that we work with, and 100 percent of the proceeds goes back to those charities,” he said. “They are all here locally in Montgomery County. We have T-shirts [to support]a homeless initiative, a natural disaster initiative, human trafficking and adoption.”
During Hurricane Harvey in late August, Philanthropy raised $20,000 in partnership with Interfaith of The Woodlands in an online campaign to help homeowners affected by the flooding get access to shelter, food and clothing.
Battle said the shop’s prayer wall, located in the middle of the boutique, is popular with customers.
“We encourage anyone who needs prayer to write it out and put in the wall,” Jackie said. “Me and my wife pray every morning over the wall. We encourage people to take the ones they want to pray for.”
Battle said he believes the store is also a great place to find gifts for family and friends as the Market Street area gears up for the holidays, with items such as candles, coffee mugs and kitchenware available at the store.
“This is our first year here, so it’ll be our first Christmas,” he said. “We have something for everyone here. We have people here are 14 years old who come in, and we have people in their 80s who come in. We have all age ranges in here.”
With the combination of retail and charity, Battle said Philanthropy has been successful so far in The Woodlands community.
“The community here has been phenomenal,” he said. “One thing you learn pretty quickly about The Woodlands is that it is a community formed around philanthropic things. People were drawn to us.”
9595 Six Pines Drive, Ste. 1360, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.