“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Sir Winston Churchill
There is no reason why money should not make us feel good. How it gets into our hands is one thing, how it leaves is another. That is the moment where cash can become caring, where the destination of our earnings can go beyond the monetary exchange and enable a person, group or business to do better.
Low on funds? Spend some time. Not sure what to offer? Give a damn. Lacking in creativity? Make a difference. Each are options for bringing something good into a household or organization.
From nurturing and thanks at our November table to the lighted candles and trees in December, our end-of-year rituals serve to reflect and inspire. A crucial key to all of this is in giving back to the community. Taking an old parable into contemporary times – we shall reap where we sow – or, as the sign suggests, Buy Local!
Arm yourself with a map as you explore our city’s bountiful retail landscape – pick up a copy of the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) guide or view their resources online at www.keeplouisvilleweird.com. It will be your first step in sustaining Louisville’s economy for 2012.
Moving from wallet to wisdom, consider what physician, author and educator Deepak Chopra states in his Law of Giving and Receiving
: “The universe operates through dynamic exchange ... giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”
Yes, we can blend spirit and spending, dollars and sense, while supporting our diverse community of merchants, artists, entrepreneurs, charities and activists throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Consider this sampling of what your neighborhood has to offer ... and what you can give ... in a year when buying small is the biggest impact you can have on the economy.
To Decorate is to Celebrate!
Whether it’s a gift for a friend or a gift for your mantle, there are creative ways to shop with a motivated conscience and a sense of style.
Pour Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Is a labor of love what you have in mind for your friends who are expecting a child or at home with a newborn? Here are some options for shopping before and after the stork.
The Highlands’ Mama’s Hip
and Dupont Square’s Babyology
offer childbirth classes plus labor and postpartum assistance, as well as breast-feeding support and supplies.
Also under the Mama’s Hip roof are the flexible folks at Owl Tree Yoga
, offering calm and creativity through workshops and community events. Their goal is their slogan, “kids and parents in harmony.” Gift cards for classes are available. Namaste!
For friends on your list with four-legged, furry children, you may be interested in creature comforts from Feeder’s Supply
, where supplies, adoption services and information for pets be found. Financial hardship should not separate you from your companion animals. The monthly Pet Pantry at Episcopal Church of the Advent
is free, and pet food donations are always welcome.
Make a commitment to our at-risk domestic animal population for the holidays. Contact an adoption organization to donate time, supplies or money – or find a friend who’s waiting just for you. Animal House Adoption Center
, No-Kill Louisville
and Shamrock Foundation
are good places to start. The Paws Report
with Laura Shine airs Wednesday afternoons on WFPK 91.9. Each week, the show features a new critter seeking a home.
The trap-neuter-release program of Alley Cat Advocates keeps our homeless feline population from rising. They welcome dedicated volunteers as well as donations.
Eating is an Agricultural Act
The gift of nourishment and hospitality is realized by Louisville entrepreneurs. The surge of local, independent restaurants and award-winning chefs – along with a boundless shelf of titles on farming, dining and entertaining – has put our city on the national culinary map.
Natives, tourists, business guests and plain ol’ hungry folks can locate everything, from southern to sushi to steaks to greens, with ease and affordability.
Stuff stockings and appetites in one fell swoop with a Louisville Originals
gift card. The familiar card with the fork can be purchased from the Louisville Originals website, at all ValuMarket
locations or at the Louisville Visitor’s Center
downtown. Gift amounts start at $25. Accumulate points with the card to use for delicious rewards. (Points-only cards are available free at member restaurants.)
The number of restaurants shopping locally for fresh food and a healthy economy is impressive. As Wendell Berry states, “Eating is an agricultural act.”
Expect to find area growers on many restaurant menus – and expect to find your chef at our local Farmers’ Markets
Putting Currency Into Creativity
The gift of entertainment and expression is key – whether it’s a pastime or passion, you can empower and inspire.
The bounty of words and song can be harvested at Book & Music Exchange
and Carmichael’s Books.
An array of gift items to choose from will impress the rocker and the reader. A Reader’s Corner
is enjoying its new home in Clifton – and a historic location at that. Booksellers since 1997, they offer new, used, rare and out-of-print books in almost every category.
Tap into a diverse group of the region’s most captivating and eclectic artists, entrepreneurs and change-makers at The Clifton Center,
where memberships and performance tickets are available.
Your tax-deductible gift of a Louisville Public Media
membership is, according to LPM president Donovan Reynolds, the gift of “independent music and rigorous journalism.” It’s hard to get a radio in that stocking, so sign up a friend online.
Family dysfunction? Don’t give up! Classic Christmas comedies such as “Elf,”
“Bad Santa” and “A Christmas Story” are in stock at Wild & Woolly Video.
Dreaming of a black and white Christmas? Rent “Babes in Toyland,”
“The Shop Around the Corner” or “A Christmas Carol.” The store has titles to rent or buy from the obvious to the obscure this holiday season.
The gift of charity is not only sound scripture but also good business. Make the best of your tax-deductible status for the end of the year.
Building a dream
? Help others decorate a new house. Habitat for Humanity ReStore
accepts fixtures, tools, appliances and more as an affordable alternative for construction. Even the kitchen sink is welcome here as well as volunteers. Good stuff, good deals, great cause.
Mayor Greg Fischer says the goal of his “Give a Day”
initiative is for it to be the largest volunteer service-day effort in the world. “We want Louisville to be known as the most caring city, where neighbors help neighbors and people look after each other,” says the wise Mayor.
No act of kindness is too small – and the rewards are bigger than you can possibly imagine.
See more photos from the WeeRock class at Mama's Hip here: brianbohannon.photoshelter.com/gallery/WeeRock-in-The-Highlander/G0000aDS6nToWpWc