Worthy Point of View: Think 'small and local' during this holiday season in Worthington

Bonnie Michael
Guest columnist

The 2020 holiday season is looking and feeling different than any other we’ve experienced.

This year, one way to act big is to actually think small. Thinking small and local can go a long way in helping others in our community.

Bonnie Michael is president of Worthington City Council.

As you are checking the items off your holiday shopping list, we ask that you keep your dollars here in Worthington by supporting small local businesses, local community organizations and by remembering your neighbors who might need some extra support during this challenging year. 

Most of you are doing all you can to stay home and stay safe and may be doing much of your holiday shopping online to avoid the crowds and keep a safe distance from others. Staying home is vitally important as we all work together to ease the burden on our health-care system.

But shopping from the comfort of your home doesn’t mean you have to forgo shopping local. Many Worthington businesses have worked to cater creatively to online shoppers. Local business and restaurant websites have been enhanced for virtual browsing, online ordering and curbside, touchless pickup. You also can shop for local business gift cards without leaving your home.

The Worthington Partnership reports that for every $100 spent with a locally owned business, $68 stays in the Worthington community. Along with the entire Worthington City Council, I encourage you to commit to doing all you can to support our local businesses, making sure they survive and are open to welcome shoppers and diners on the other side of this pandemic.

You can find a list of Worthington businesses, with links to their online shopping and service options, on experienceworthington.com.

The holidays also are a time for charitable giving, and Worthington’s community organizations can use your support.

Worthington’s nonprofits depend on your generous donations to provide the vital services needed by individuals and families in our community. As many more families are struggling with job loss, financial insecurities and mental-health concerns, the needs are greater than ever.

Consider donating to the Firefighters for Kids Toy and Food Drive or one of the many other Worthington-based community service and nonprofit organizations to help make the holidays brighter for your neighbors in need. You easily can search for Worthington nonprofits on the Columbus Foundation Gifts of Kindness website. Type “Worthington” in the search box to find a local list of nonprofits and make your contribution.

Finally, don’t forget those closest to you.

In the early days of the pandemic, we were moved by the many generous gestures of compassion, positivity, encouragement and support for our neighbors. Let’s keep that momentum going so that we can remain strong during this challenging holiday season.

Whether you can deliver meals, groceries and supplies to neighbors, or just write a note to let them know you’re thinking of them, these gestures mean so much and will help bring positive connections during this time of social distancing when we must be physically distant from family and loved ones.

On behalf of City Council, we are grateful to all of you for the support you are showing one another and our community. If 2020 has shown us anything, it is that when we stand together, even from a distance, we are powerful. Thanks to you, we can look ahead to the new year with renewed hope.

Bonnie Michael is president of Worthington City Council.