For a good many people, the year 2020 has opened up an opportunity to think about the notion of gratitude. While Thanksgiving offers Americans the traditional trigger to reflect on the topic, the entire year has been a lesson in examining what we have and what we don't. Those who have seen their livelihoods maintained, their homes intact and their good health continued will have gratitude for what they have preserved.
Those who have lost houses in fires, lost loved ones to COVID-19 or who have been among the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians on the unemployment line may likewise focus on gratitude as a method of keeping calm and carrying on. Whatever your take on this holiday's origins— or its current pandemic iteration devoid of large gatherings and friends—this week is yet another reminder of what we have and what we've lost. Even if we ourselves have remained whole, someone we know has not—and in that, we see the connectivity of community.
This year, when Thanksgiving Day gives way to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, the Shop Local issue you hold in your hands, will, we hope, offer some reminder of that interconnectedness, and the need to place our hopes and dreams—and equally as important, our dollars—into the hands of the people who live here.
A business owner we talked to recently recounted a story that illustrates how shopping local translates to giving local and supporting the people who have lost so much this year. He discussed losing a bid for a local government project to an out-of-state bidder. On the same day the winning-bid announcement came out, that owner received a letter asking for support for a giving campaign sponsored by that same government entity. Without much humor, the businessperson suggested the agency ask the out-of-state bidder for support, since his business was diminished after losing that contract. That out-of-state support was probably not forthcoming.
The same idea carries forward in retail. When we put our dollars into local businesses, those businesses are in turn more capable of supporting the nonprofits of the community. This year, more than ever, they are doing so much for those in need, and somehow press on doing more with less. Devoting an entire issue to "Shopping Local" is centered on this notion every year here at the Source Weekly—and this year, that notion and its message is only more important. Nonprofits in our community have worked tirelessly to house people, feed people, to provide moral and financial support during this difficult year, and so much more, and they deserve our continued support.
While some are unable to open their wallets to give, most of us need to open our wallets to purchase necessities such as food, medicine and basic supplies—and even a holiday gift or two. These, too, can be purchased from local stores, shops, farms and purveyors. Every time we do so, we buoy our community a little more; we buffer it from the incessant economic strife that is hovering closely to so many this year.
This week, whether we are sitting down for a humble meal or a small, intimate and more elaborate one, we hope the notion of gratitude encourages our community to support itself. It's the best way we can get through this, together.