At the West Kootenay Chapter of the MS Society we celebrated our 10th anniversary last month. We provide programs and services to people living with multiple sclerosis in our area and contribute to research to find a cure for this lifelong disease. Like many other non-profit organizations, the majority of our funding comes from community donations and local fundraising events. Those fundraising events tend to rely heavily on the support of local businesses. All the items at our silent auctions, all the prizes in the raffles, and even the in-kind donations of “background” supplies have been generously donated by businesses and we are humbled by the generous and consistent support of every one of them.
Throughout the year these same businesses that support us rely on local people shopping local to keep their business going and keep our community alive, however, leading up to Christmas is when many of the retail businesses bring in the majority of their annual sales. Every time someone local shops online, or travels to Spokane, Kelowna or other large centre to shop, they are taking money away from our local economy. Not just from the businesses that could have supplied the items they bought elsewhere, but also from the non-profit groups, sports teams, youth groups, and seniors’ services that all seek and receive donations from local businesses.
Everyone likes to enjoy a trip away and that usually means a bit of shopping, but keeping the bulk of your shopping dollars local helps many people beyond the shop owner and their staff! The extra dollars that you spend may help an organization that provides invaluable services to our community and to those who can least afford to lose them.
Consider shopping local for your gifts, and shop local throughout the year; be proud to support the fabulous shops and services we have available in Nelson!
On behalf of the MS Society of Canada’s West Kootenay Chapter board of directors:
Chair, West Kootenay Chapter