A Vernon business displays a sign designed to make you think about shopping local. (Big Sun Beachwear and Tanning)

Giving made easy in the Okanagan

AT RANDOM: So many ways to help those less fortunate, as well as our neighbours struggling amid COVID-19

If there’s one thing that hasn’t been lost on our community throughout this pandemic, it’s the giving spirit.

Residents of the North Okanagan continue to come together to support each other, whether it’s sending presents to lonely seniors or helping a family who lost their home in a fire.

And 2020 is no exception. With businesses struggling to keep their doors open, the community is stepping up to shop and eat local at every opportunity, while still making room to give to charities.

Many local businesses are making it easy to do both.

Like Rosters, for example, buy a gift card and they’ll donate to the Upper Room Mission and the Starfish Backpack program. Brown’s Social House also did the same on Sunday, Dec. 6, where diners got a discount for bringing in a new toy. Trade a can of food for a free coffee at Bean to Cup. Or if you are struggling to stock your shelves this time of year, the Fig Bistro has a table of free food those in need and their pets.

These are just a few of the little additives businesses are sprinkling into the season of giving.

So it’s our turn to give back.

Big Sun Beachwear and Tanning used to have a great sign outside their 27th Street store which read: “Amazon’s gonna be just fine guys! Shop your local stores online and be a hero!”

Sorry Jeff, but we gotta remind the people that lots of us little guys opened online stores recently, and we have lots…

Posted by Big Sun on Wednesday, October 28, 2020

It’s a stark reminder that our spending habits can have a direct impact.

And when we spend local, we support local.

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce GM Dan Proulx also recently made a plea to residents to vote Vernon with their dollars.

“Every dollar spent locally in Vernon is a vote for this community to succeed. Adversely every dollar spent elsewhere is a vote against,” Proulx said. “Vernon needs your vote.”

That rings true for the entire Okanagan.

Don’t feel bad if you are an Amazon addict. I know how addicting online shopping can be.

But next time you’re about to checkout with your virtual shopping cart, take a second look at where you’re spending your money.

Is it an item you could just as easily purchase from a local shop, especially now that most of them have moved to provide online shopping too?

For most of us, it’s just about changing our habits slightly and removing yourself from the comfort of the Amazon account and perhaps Googling what shops in downtown Vernon have online shopping.

Or if you’re like me and really don’t like to shop for anything online, there is still the option to visit these stores (and with new free pickup parking spots on 30th Avenue).

But that option might not be there tomorrow if we continue to pool our resources elsewhere today.

So now, more than ever before, it really is time for us to put our money where our mouth is and vote for our local businesses.

READ MORE: Artsolutely makes shopping local easy in Vernon

READ MORE: Small businesses hurt by federal COVID-19 response: North Okanagan-Shuswap MP


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasCoronavirusOpinion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

The restart of the program means seniors can receive affordable meals delivered five days a week. Photo by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post.
Princeton Meals on Wheels one year trial will cost $92k

Program restarts, and volunteer drivers are needed

The images are of Bald Eagles feeding.
Birds of prey

Princeton photographer captures compelling photos of a Bald Eagle breakfast

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki responded to BC Housing minster David Eby’s remarks that the city has put themselves at risk of creating a tent city Wednesday, March 3, 2020. (Western News file photo)
Penticton mayor calls out BC Housing minister for ‘irresponsible fear-mongering’

Council recently rejected BC Housing’s request to keep a winter shelter open longer than first planned

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read