Featured Local Business

Most Read: Parent Tips

Changing for the Better

Early on a recent Sunday morning near Kids’ Cove at Mount Tr... Read more

A Salute to Special Olympics

Last December Cierra Winn swept her long chestnut hair over ... Read more

Growing Up Gardening

Finding time to play outside is a challenge for today’s chil... Read more

Doulas on Duty

You’re a few months along in your pregnancy and beginning to... Read more

Getting Better with Art

The inpatient playroom at the Children’s Hospital of the Kin... Read more

Set Sail with Sea Scouts

Something exciting is happening in Tidewater. Here, where th... Read more

A Heart for Kids

After a successful battle with cervical cancer, Tracy LaGatt... Read more

My Mentor, My Friend

Kids need adult role models to look up to and trust. Parents... Read more

Connecting with Horses

In this more-than-one-horse town, kids and adults take pleas... Read more

Kiddies & Kitties

There is nothing so heartwarming as when a family visits an ... Read more

Parenting with No Regrets

My son just turned 18, so he is no longer legally a child. I... Read more

Growing with Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport of strength, dexterity, and grace, a s... Read more

A Gift of Life

At the age of five, Shutong Hao (“Tong Tong”) had already un... Read more

Learning from WHRO

When my oldest was six, he came to me with a cape and a pict... Read more

Explore the World with NATO

When NATO Festival organizers realized Luxembourg would be t... Read more

Tips for Kids Dining Out

Going out to eat with your children should be a relaxing and... Read more

Sea and Sky

Dear Friends, I was lucky to grow up on the shores of Sandb... Read more

Eating on a Budget

Get the most for your food budget! There are many ways to sa... Read more

Is Your Child on Track?

From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in... Read more

Hit the Pause Button: Read

One of my favorite photographs is a picture of my mom readin... Read more

2020 Dec

Answer the Call

Discover how you can make a difference here in your hometown.

I saw a worthy post on Facebook recently reminding us how important it is to shop at our local small businesses this holiday season. The post read: “Remember all the local small businesses that you’ve asked for years and years to sponsor and donate to your sports clubs, school events, organizations, etc? They’re calling in the favor. Answer the call.”

Small businesses have been seriously impacted during the pandemic. Now that we’re in the season of good cheer, consider spending your hard-earned cash locally. Amazon and WalMart are already doing quite well, thank you. But owners of local restaurants, boutiques, gift shops, and spas have watched revenues take a deep dive this year.

Sure, it’s easy to buy gifts online from the Big Box stores and mega-sites like Amazon and Wayfair. But before you press that “Buy” button, ask yourself if you can spend your money locally and, at the same time, support your community.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Buy gift cards at local restaurants. This is a terrific way to support our local restaurants now at a time when they need it the most.
  • Go to local markets, where you’ll find crafts, food items, soaps, jewelry, and tons of other gift ideas for everyone on your list.
  • Think outside the box and buy some experiential gifts for your family and friends. How about tickets to a show, a gift certificate for a massage, art classes, a kayak tour, or a membership at a local museum or zoo?
  • Give your family the gift of a getaway. Besides restaurants, the entire hospitality industry is suffering. What better way to support the travel industry than taking a trip? If you’re worried about traveling by plane, plan a road trip or a staycation. Hotels these days are being uber-careful about cleaning protocols, and there are plenty of socially distant ways to have fun and enjoy new experiences wherever you go.

The main thing is to ask yourself, “Where can my dollars help the most?” The answer is a no-brainer. Duh, right here in your own community, where the people you see every day need your help right now.

And if you can’t think of a gift for that person in your life who has everything, make a donation to an area charity or arts organization instead. Charities and community organizations have watched their revenues decrease this year as donations from people experiencing money woes has fallen.

If you or your family is experiencing a difficult time right now, reach out to the people you love and ask for assistance. We all want to make a difference in the world and what better way is there than to lend a helping hand at a time of need.

We’ll get through this together, right? Let’s end the year on a positive note by buying and giving where it counts the most: right here in our hometown. Happy holidays to everyone from all of us here at Tidewater Family Plus.

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

Enter to Win a FREE Subscription to Tidewater Family Plus Magazine

We're hosting an extra year-end giveaway and are excited to gift 5 FREE subscriptions to both Tidewater Family Plus Magazine, a $20.00 value! Entering is...

Free to Enter!