I'll always remember taking my kids to Harry’s Shoes. They’d smile as they stepped up on the stool, the staff attentively taking measurements. Year after year, it was a family experience I relished. The shoe store, similar to other local places in the city, is one of many nostalgic memories of parenthood that I will carry forever.
I’ve lived in New York for most of my life now, so having a personal connection to small businesses in our community can easily get lost. Life is busy and I feel like we’ve become further removed from the people and places in our own backyards. And yet, we’re all just six degrees away from each other, right? I think there’s something to the butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker. I try to support local business owners and get to know the people that make up my neighborhood.
My charitable initiative, SixDegrees.org, has always been about connecting little actions to make a big impact. Connecting doing good to supporting small businesses seemed like a no-brainer to me, which is why I'm supporting Shift Your Shopping For Good, a movement in which hundreds of independent business owners are banding together to give back this holiday season.
With the biggest shopping period just days away, I have an extra reason to give my holiday spending to local businesses, and Shift Your Shopping For Good makes it possible so that when I do, I am also supporting nonprofits and schools making a difference in my community. With the help of Causetown, a simple giving platform for small businesses, all I have to do is mention Shift Your Shopping For Good at the register, and I can designate a portion of my purchases to the nonprofit of my choice.
A ton of cool businesses have already joined Shift Your Shopping For Good from The Big Bad Woof in Maryland, which offers eco-friendly pet supplies, to By Brooklyn, which focuses on items made exclusively in the NYC borough. Shift Your Shopping For Good makes it possible to simultaneously give to a cause close to your heart and support community development. As you think of all the gifts needed for the special people on your list, consider joining me and Shift Your Shopping For Good. If your favorite local vendors aren’t participating yet, I encourage you to be part of our grassroots effort, spread the word and invite them. Your favorite local businesses just have to visit ShiftYourShopping.org/ForGood and take a few seconds to sign up for the campaign. Click here to add it to your To-Do list.
And if that's not enough to convince you, check out this infomercial from my friend Melvin Macon:
This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.