Keep it going
We see you at your computer on the Amazon website, about to buy that pashmina, end table, or Buzz Lightyear action figure. Donít hit the ďBuyĒ button! Step away!
Consider this an intervention of sorts, a Shop Local intervention.
This year more than ever, itís important to make an effort to shop at local businesses. The fires have resulted in lost revenue and lost wages, making it tougher for small shop owners to keep their doors open. This is on top of the ongoing trauma the county is going through. And as we go into the winter months after the holidays, sales usually take a seasonal hit.
Add all these things together and you have a situation where you, the local consumer, can make a difference. Nationwide in November, there was a one-day Small Business Saturday. Letís go for Small Business Every Day!
We totally get the convenience of online shopping, but if you make a point of getting out and patronizing the stores where we live, youíll be more than pleasantly surprised at what youíll find Ė antiques, clothes, art, food, wine, pet toys, gift certificates at local eateries. You wonít have any problem filling up the stockings this year. Even a subscription to your local rag for Aunt Myrtle in Miami Ė priceless! (OK, $30 for the year.)
Small Business Every Day Ė try it, youíll like it!Other things to keep in mind as we go forward. There is still a need in our community for housing for those displaced by the fires, be they homeowners or renters. Glen Ellen resident Ed Davisís Keep Them in the Valley Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/groups/316887642111688/) has been able to match 40 families and individuals with available housing, though he reports the flow of new housing options has more or less stopped. Do you have a possible housing idea? Or are you looking for a place to live? Email Ed at email@example.com.
And remember, many of those still displaced really canít afford very much per month. While hearts may be in the right place, offering a vacation rental for $8,000 or $10,000 a month isnít realistic, especially for renters who have been burned out and likely donít have renters insurance. Generosity is the name of the game here, if at all possible.
Finally, we need to have patience and understanding during all of this. The stress of losing your home or living in destroyed areas, the pressure of having to make the gut-wrenching decision to rebuild or not, the thought of having to leave a community youíve lived in for decades Ė all can lead to short tempers, raw emotions, and frayed nerves.
Letís all cut each other some slack. Keep it going.