Last week I wrote a short(ish) piece on Odin’s demand that His people aid their community. After posting it I found myself faced with multiple unusual opportunities to aid my community, both local and global. It felt as though Odin knew what I had written and decided to make me walk my talk. It’s certainly the kind of thing he would do.
At first I intended to give a brief overview of ways I serve my community, both local and global. But the words wouldn’t come. So I took a couple of days and did some reflection, then came to the solution that I would write several blog posts, allowing me to go into more depth on how I help my community which, in turn, may inspire you to do the same in your community.
The first post is, as you probably guessed by the title, my favorite way to contribute to my local economy.
Shop at Local Businesses or Buy from Local Sellers
I have a weakness for thrift shopping and I have an even bigger weakness for person-to-person sales. So you can imagine the deep and abiding love I have for apps like OfferUp, Close5, and LetGo. I have been both buyer and seller on these apps and I recommend OfferUp to anyone starting out on peer-to-peer sales.
There is a real sense of community in the act of giving a neighbor money in exchange for their goods. It’s closer to how things were when humans lived in tight-knit groups, though with a decidedly modern twist. I also consider this practice an aid to the global community: instead of going out and buying new furniture, clothes, or electronics (among other things) I have re-purposed something that a neighbor no longer wanted. In the last month I have used this app to secure a set of IKEA counter stools, a bistro table, a bed frame, a lantern, and an N64. Brand new I would have spent close to a thousand dollars but I doubt I’ve spent more than $150. And that $150 is still in my community, with my neighbors.
In a similar vein is the idea of local shops. Most people go a big-box store for most of their needs and I am, by and large, one of those people. But when I can afford to, I try very hard to buy from local specialty shops. I try new restaurants and rate them on Yelp while I tell my friends about them in the hopes that more people will try them out. I tip food service employees as well as I can, and I do my best at my own job to ensure I give our patrons everything they need to reach their goals. In a society and an economy like that of the US, nearly every interaction is an economic one and I try my best to make sure I am a net gain to my community’s economy.
There are more ways to stimulate your local economy but these are my top choices. If you have another favorite please feel free to leave it in the comments!
**This piece was inspired by Odin’s advice that all people stand by and aid their community**