Written by: Steve Bolton, Head Coach & CEO of Libro Credit Union
As the holiday season is quickly approaching and many of us are out buying gifts for loved ones, I stop and reflect on the purchases I am making. It is easy to lose sight of how lucky many of us are to be able to afford to give at this time of the year. Often we may find ourselves buying gifts to just ‘buy something’ for someone, especially for those hard-to- buy-for people (like myself).
What if we chose to support social enterprises as part of our gift purchasing? Giving a gift that creates opportunity, supports local, and makes change. One example could be stopping by the YOU Made It Café, where they feature beautiful cutting boards, and gift baskets filled with jams, spreads, salsas and BBQ sauce – all made by youth employed in Enterprise Services. This is only one of the many local social enterprises that can be found around the city. These businesses do more than just make money; they create social impact.
At Libro Credit Union, we have a strong belief in supporting local and giving back to our communities. It reflects our purpose: to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario. One of the ways we do this is working with and supporting social enterprises, many of which give vulnerable or underemployed Londoners a sustainable, long-term hand up and out of poverty, while building valuable skills, confidence and new social networks. This is not to be confused with a handout. These businesses are making sustainable changes in communities.
When you are out buying gifts, whether it’s during the holiday season, or at any time of the year, give the gifts that keep giving. Why not give a gift with meaning, opportunity and a chance for change? By supporting local small business and social enterprises, you can help ensure that every holiday is better from here. It is the combination of private, public and not for profit social enterprises working together and us as consumers supporting these businesses that helps to make a stronger community.
Share the story of where your gift came from, a local business, a social enterprise, and let’s tell stories of supporting our local communities this season and how we are all playing a part in brightening the future and prosperity of all those we call our neighbours.
You can help change the conversation by sharing what you've learned with others.