My Top Reason to Shop Local – Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24th! #SmallBizSat

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Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday – on November 24th.  It’s a day dedicated to celebrate and show our appreciation for local, small businesses.  It’s a day to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving.

It began in 2010 when American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day. Now, in its third year, Small Business Saturday will be even bigger.

Why Small Business?  Here is my top reason to shop local, what’s yours?

I’ve done fundraising in the past by walking door to door, from business to business asking for donations of items that can be sold in a silent auction.  Have you seen a silent auction?  Someone will donate something – oh, like a gift certificate to a local restaurant.  At an event, people will bid on the gift certificate by writing the amount they are willing to pay in increasing amounts.  When it’s over, the item goes to the highest bidder.  Asking for donations is one of the most difficult things to do – impossible, really, unless… you truly believe in what you are raising money for.

This is how I started, why I tried fundraising for a silent auction.  One of my young relatives was struck by a tragic disease when she was only 13 years old.  On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, a few years ago, she was at a cheerleading competition.  A healthy, fit, normal 13 year old competing in a very physically demanding sport.  Then the following Wednesday, at school, she couldn’t get up from her desk.  She panicked – she couldn’t feel or move her legs.  The school called an ambulance, the local hospital knew immediately it was beyond their expertise and had her flown to the nearest big city hospital.  She was paralyzed from the waist down by a disease called acute transverse myelitis.  Very rare.  Very devastating.  Her parents were shocked.  Beyond the tragedy of their daughter’s disability, they were now faced by crippling medical bills.  There were years of therapy ahead, medical bills, equipment to purchase, modifications to be made to their home.  I don’t think any of us will ever know what that is like.

Because I wanted to help in some way, I volunteered to handle the silent auction at a fundraiser for her.  Before this, I had no idea the generosity of local small businesses.  It absolutely shocked me how generous and giving they were.  Sometimes with my husband, and sometimes with a good friend, I walked from business to business, telling her story and small business owners opened their hearts and their wallets to help.  We ended up raising over $10,000, just from the silent auction items donated by small businesses in our area.  Because they are part of our community.  They are real people like you and I that have a stake in our kids.

(By the way, on a very, very, happy note – that 13 year old girl is now 18 and she very proudly walked across the stage to accept her high school diploma.  She walks with some difficulty, but she walks!)

Support small business – they support us!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for American Express. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.


  1. 1
    donna harris says:

    I think what you did for that girl is wonderful! I know first hand how disability can strike you unexpectedly. That’s what happened to me back in 2005, it was so fast I didn’t know what hit me. Got real weak, then couldn’t walk, bedridden, hospital 2 weeks, woke up in nursing home, told 6 months or less to live. After 5 months boyfriend took me out of the nursing home to live with him in Indiana. Seen a lot of doctors, therapy for 6 years, learned how to walk and feed myself all over again. Now walk with a cane, wheelchair for long distance, but alive!! I was lucky at my age I got on SSD to help pay my bills, but I did pay for a lot of stuff I needed and changed for the house.
    I’m so happy for this girl or should I say young lady. I hope she raises enough money to pay for all the bills. Never give up hope!! I didn’t!

    • 2

      Wow! Good for you, Donna! Congratulations on all the hard work it took to get to where you are today. It’s funny you should say what you did… just last year, Christina got a tattoo on her foot that says, “Never give up”.

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