Three young siblings started a candle company to pay for video games. Now they're giving back to help the homeless.

Instagram / Frères Branchiaux Candle Co.

Three young Maryland brothers who started a candle company to buy new toys now donate $500 a month from their successful business to help the homeless.

Collin, 13, Ryan, 11, and Austin, 8, Gill founded "Frères Branchiaux," which is French for Gill Brothers, after their mom told them they could either get a job or start a business if they wanted more video games and Nerf guns.

"They surprised me when they started a business and they started selling at their baseball and football games and they've moved on to a vending truck," Celena Gill told Good Morning America.

The three of them have been making the candles in their Indian Head home for the last two years and business is booming, with 36 stores carrying the boys' products and a deal with Macy's in the works. They sell nearly 400 candles a month, priced from $18 to $36, along with other products like diffuser oils, room sprays, soap, bath bombs and salts, according to the Washington Post.



Ryan is considered the "scent-ologist" of the group and helps create the scents, like Lavender Crush, Lime Cotton, and Whiskey Sweet.

"I usually pick the most scents I like and then I'll mix them together and ask my family members if they like it or not and then we'll make it into a candle," he told GMA.

RELATED: 12-year-old makes and donates bow ties to help shelter animals find their forever homes

So why candles?

"Me and my brothers asked my mom, 'What's your favorite thing to buy?' At first she said bath bombs, which are kind of a longer process, so we did candles, which was easier," Collin said.

Besides being able to buy their own toys, the business has also allowed the brothers to make an impact in their community.

"My brother Ryan has a big heart," Collin told GMA. "He likes to help homeless people out; in D.C. there is a lot of homelessness, so every time we would stop by and see a homeless person he would ask my mom to give them money."

RELATED: Jaden Smith is responding to L.A.'s homeless crisis by launching a free vegan food truck

From the start, Frères Branchiaux has given 10 percent of its monthly proceeds to Washington, D.C.-area homeless shelters, including Pathways to Housing D.C., Friendship Place and the Father McKenna Center, according to the Post.

"Every time I saw a homeless person, I was always asking Mom if we could give money to them, and this was a way to do it," Ryan said.

Collin appreciates feeling like the business has a greater purpose aside from making money.

"The community helps us, so we have to help back. Giving back helps you and the people you're giving back to," he said.

They're hoping to take their philanthropic efforts one step further by working directly with homeless people.

"We have a big community and we also want to do job creation," Celena said. "Right now we're working with one of the organizations to hire some of their clients transitioning from homelessness."

The brothers are now planning an expansion of the business and are saving up for a "candle truck" along with a facility to make the candles out of.

popular
Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

A tiger who was injured in a poacher's trap will be given a prosthetic paw in the first operation of its kind.

The seven-year-old cat named Sahebrao was rescued in the Chandrapur district of India in 2012 and was relocated to the Wildlife Rescue Center at the Gorewada Zoo in Nagpur. He later developed gangrene and had to have part of his left leg amputated, according to The Indian Express.

For last six years, Sahebrao has been living with increasing pain. Determined to help the animal, Sushrut Babhulkar, a Nagpur-based orthopedic surgeon, adopted the cat and has been working with experts, including Dr. Peter Giannoudis from the University of Leeds in the U.K., to explore the possibility of creating an artificial limb.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Pixabay

In today's episode of WTH, professional accounting services firm Ernst & Young has taken gender dynamics in the workplace to a whole new level. And by whole new level, I mean totally batsh*t backwards.

An anonymous former employee sent a 55-page Power-Presence-Purpose (PPP) presentation to HuffPost, detailing a self-improvement training offered to employees last year. According to "Jane," who has since left the company, the presentation was demeaning to women and left her feeling like a piece of meat.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Epidemic / YouTube

There are few people on planet Earth that know what it feels like to be bullied quite like Monica Lewinsky.

In her early 20s, she became the focus of one of the biggest scandals in American history after engaging in a sexual relationship with former president Bill Clinton.

She was the butt of nighttime talk show jokes, harassed by politicians, and constantly pursued by the paparazzi. Twenty years later, she's survived the scandal and become a tireless advocate for helping those who've been bullied.

Keep Reading Show less
popular