Monday, Nov 23, 2020
Posted On : May 26, 2020   By : Peter Comrie

Supporting Local: Who Wins?

This piece will make much more sense if you read
It’s Time to Choose Sides – Part 1

I want to dig a bit deeper after my post last week about supporting our local network. The piece is certainly seeing some traction, and I believe that’s because the idea of circling the wagons around our local businesses and contacts really connects with what we’re feeling right now.

In some ways, the coronavirus pandemic has left us feeling like we’ve lost our foundation. So many things that we expected to always be part of our lives are gone. Thinking about the real people around us can give us some of that foundation back. So, here are a few ‘bricks’ to put back into your foundation, courtesy of the network we share (I’m not naming specific companies, but you can find out the details if you look):

  • Local distilleries that switched from brewing spirits to distilling hand sanitizer and donating to organizations in need
  • Crafters who are making masks for their friends and neighbours—hundreds of masks!
  • The hearts and notes in windows all around the Okanagan thanking our healthcare and frontline workers for taking care of us
  • Messages of encouragement and hope written in chalk on sidewalks and driveways
  • Personal trainers and fitness instructors giving free classes online
  • The local winery who dropped off a case of wine at our office, just to be kind (thank you Jeff)
  • A shoe store personally delivering a pair of slippers so a senior didn’t have to leave home
  • The many pharmacies who switched to home delivery of prescriptions, often done off the clock by employees going out of their way
  • Volunteers who took the time to clean up backcountry areas
  • The local business suddenly busy making plexiglass shields is sending 1/5 of their profits right back into community charities
  • Supermarkets choosing to sell Girl Guide cookies since the girls can’t go door-to-door right now
  • A local mechanic offering to do work for free on vehicles of frontline workers and struggling locals
  • Wine ninjas—anonymous deliveries of wine and goodies to random people’s porches, dog owners at dog parks, and who knows where else
  • The credit union supporting other local businesses
  • A coffee shop needed some bobcat work done, a local donated their services, and the coffee shop gave a donation to the food bank. The reciprocal power of our local network!
  • Numerous community online message boards asking for and offering help, from picking up diapers at Costco for a new mom to delivering groceries to neighbors isolating after returning to the Okanagan
  • Strangers sharing their sourdough starter with each other and becoming friends
  • Local kindness contests with prizes donated by local businesses (can you get any more Canadian than a kindness contest?!)
  • Online groups whose sole purpose is to take care of others in the community

All this is just a sampling of what is happening right here in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley, and frankly in every city I know of. Real people, one at a time, buying something local, doing something kind, sharing when they can, asking for help when it’s needed, and reminding all of us that we truly are all in this together. It makes me so proud to live here, and to be a part of this wonderful city!

Please consider passing this around to your network and associates.

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