The following was recently shared by an unknown author. I thought the message was strong and worthwhile, particularly during this holiday season.
This year will be different. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced locally, oh.... yes there is! It is time to think outside the box.
Everyone…yes almost EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin’s? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are many local, owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint?
Remember this isn't about big National chains…this is about supporting your home town folks with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people could use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by a local working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.
And how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local talent.
When we care about others, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we could not imagine.
I, along with the staff, take this opportunity to warmly wish everyone health and happiness this holiday season!
Charles W. Milazzo President & Chief Executive Officer