On a recent, fine spring afternoon, my daughter and I set off down Centre Street to solicit donations for her 8th-grade fund-raising raffle. As a Boston Public Schools student, she and her classmates were responsi-ble for raising the money they needed for their graduation. I went on the mission with an open mind, knowing that a shaky economy has the biggest impact on smaller businesses and that our requests might well be turned down.
We first approached Elaine Hackney, owner of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop. Without batting an eye, she wrote out a gift card for the raffle. In fact, each locally owned business that we subsequently approached offered us a donation, all without hesitation.
Conversely, our success rate with chain stores was just the opposite. We either received a flat-out “no” or had to follow complicated online application procedures and never heard back from them. While I’m not suggesting that chain stores don’t have a role in our community, not one of them was able or willing to make a contribution.
So I’d like to take a moment now to acknowledge the important and special place our local businesses have in our community and, in particular, to say “thank you” to each business that helped out my daughter’s very successful school fund-raiser: Boing! JP’s Toy Shop, City Feed and Supply, Gadgets, Jamaicaway Books & Gifts, J.P. Licks, Wonder Spice Café and The Real Deal.
Let’s continue to support local businesses as they continue to support our community.