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

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Younger Princeton residents are now being urged to register for a vaccination notification. (Black Press Media photo)
Princeton lags behind in vaccination rates

Approximately 24 per cent of residents here have received their first dose

Memorials have been set up to honour those who died during the Second World War. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: It’s time to stop making comparisons to Hitler

The deadliest, most destructive war in human history should not become a metaphor

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Okanagan First Nation band concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, much to dismay of Splatsin First Nation near Enderby

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
UPDATE: Winfield road open following police, coroner investigation

Pelmewash Parkway closure near Highway 97 connection

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

RCMP (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
High-risk takedown on Highway 1 following Shuswap shooting

Upon further investigation, the vehicle and its occupants were not associated with the shooting

Most Read