buy local

Black Friday alternatives

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As a consumer, you have power, and the responsibility to use that power wisely. Find such outlets and share with your friends, starting with this one:

Benevolence Farm was built on the premise of mercy and sincere belief in second chances. Our program provides a transitional employment and living program for women leaving North Carolina prisons. We recognize that change must come from within, but can be cultivated and inspired through a supportive, natural environment. Our goal is to give our participants the time and space — figuratively and literally — to make real, lasting changes. Our residents develop skills in sustainable farming, small business practices, food preparation and presentation in an environment that fosters improved physical, spiritual and financial health. Residents actively contribute to the well-being of the farm, staking a claim in the program’s — and more importantly their own — success.

Everybody deserves a second chance, and formerly incarcerated women have multiple barriers to overcome. These products are innovative and organically produced by some great women, so spread the word.

Forget Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is critical this year

Spend your money wisely, and locally:

While local businesses often rely on Small Business Saturday as the 'shop local' alternative to Black Friday, this year's event might be the most important one yet. Many small businesses faced a bumpy year and are still straining in the COVID-19 economy.

Around 60% of virus-related small business closures became permanent this year, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

Of course the moral argument for doing this is important: Small businesses don't have the reserve capital or resources to sustain themselves for very long, and Federal government assistance seems to always gravitate to larger and/or more influential companies. But shopping locally, for goods manufactured (or crafted) in the region, has a profound impact on your carbon footprint. You should always take a "miles traveled" approach when you open your purse or wallet. Granted, some items (appliance, electronics) are now only manufactured overseas, but that just means you have to be more careful in selecting other goods. There are many options to shop locally, supporting artisans and sustainable farming. But today I wanted to highlight Benevolence Farm, which gives newly released women prisoners a sanctuary and fresh start:

Local Shopping for Holiday Gifts

The national scene is still hopping with the illegal spying, transit strike, and other exciting stories. But here in North Carolina it looks like everyone has closed up shop, started the fire, and began sipping on the egg nog. So, I figured that I would join the season. This year I managed to do all of my shopping at local stores, except for one book I picked up at BJ's, but the gift from BJ's was a cook book by Mama Dip in Chapel Hill so it should count as well. I figured I would share my best local spots for finding gifts in Raleigh and ask for help for next year. But first the political commentary: Why is it that progressives, who hate their country, the ones willing to spend more to shop local and keep jobs in the U.S.?

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