Shop, donate local: good things in store for Lake Highlands’ businesses

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 9.09.02 AM
Donation drop-off bins are located all over our neighborhood. Most or all of them are associated with a charity. This is beneficial both for the respective foundations and residents needing to reduce closet clutter. But a closer look at where we leave our donations might be in order.

Lake Highlands business owners point out that supporting local retail doesn’t just mean shopping there. In the case of resale, consignment or thrift stores, donations are also a significant consideration.

From time to time I will bag up clothing and drop it in bin on the way to work. Usually it’s the one outside Eastlake Vet Hospital, because I passively understand it helps that local business, but I never put much thought into it and usually go with whatever is most convenient for me.

Last night I attended a meeting of Lake Highlands business owners who are forming a Lake Highlands Chamber of Commerce (which I will write more about soon) and was encouraged by the the conversation about Lake Highlands’ business culture, opportunities and challenges, some of which can begin to be addressed through mere communication.

Sustained shop-local pressure is one of our clear needs — educate ourselves regarding the myriad benefits of boosting local business. Share the info with others. Cultivate a neighborhood-wide understanding of the need to support local businesses. Pressure your neighbors to shop local. Thriving businesses have a ripple effect and bring in more businesses. We know this somewhere in our soul, right? But making an impact in our little corner of the community requires thinking more about little things—heading to The Store or T. Hee Greetings rather than Target for a gift. Lunching at Highlands Cafe rather than Applebees, for example.

Which brings me back to the donation bins. The guys who own Urban Thrift (Audelia at Walnut Hill) made the point at the meeting that many of the neighborhood’s donation bins, while they often benefit very worthy causes, aren’t all directly supporting our neighborhood’s economy or philanthropy.

Urban Thrift
Urban Thrift

In addition to being a for-profit business (which, by the way, brings a cool/funky vibe and good shopping to the ‘hood), Urban Thrift donates portions of its profits to church and school programs. One of those churches, LH United Methodist, is doing tons of work in the poverty and crime afflicted apartments of Lake Highlands. So by dropping your goods donations at Urban Thrift, you support two young entrepreneurs who believe in Lake Highlands, you aid a church that has programs that effectively will reduce crime and improve quality of life … see where I am going with this? The ripple effect, again.

photo
Urban Thrift has one of those convenient drop-off boxes too

Not implying the non-local nonprofits shouldn’t get your support. Definitely not saying I’ll stop donating items to Eastlake, another hugely impactful neighborhood business. Just noting that part of the path to making our local business scene explode is pondering more comprehensively where we shop, eat, donate and get our vehicles inspected, to name a few, and how our choices can impact the community and get us to that prosperous point faster.

Stay tuned for more local-business news. Meanwhile, check out the LH Chamber on LinkedIn or Facebook.


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lake Highlands.
More from Christina Hughes Babb

Man shot by Lake Highlands convenience store clerk (NBC)

It began late Friday night when a family stopped for gas at...
Read More
  • Pingback: Batman Day and Halloween festivities coming to new store Frontrunner Comics - Lake Highlands()

  • LHRes

    @Wilson! ~ All that matters is helping others. Plus, the items donated usually have very little monetary or tax deductible value.

  • Wilson!

    Sorry to be devil’s advocate, but… If I donate to Urban Thrift, it is NOT tax-deductible. If that matters…

  • Tracey Holman

    Urban Thrift recently donated 135 items for the Richardson ISD Clothes Closet. I was very impressed and feel we are very lucky to have such a business owner in our neighborhood!

  • Diane

    Thanks for the info and tips. A suggestion for a followup article, local businesses really should get more involved in social media and keep websites up to date. The first thing you see should be an entry or event that is months passed. As a small business owner who currently works from home I can attest to the wonders of social media. Since I started networking via social media my sales have more than quadrupled. I look forward to hearing more about our areas local business owners.
    Diane, Honey Stop The Car Vintage

  • Jordan Hoover

    Thanks for the support, Christina! We sure do love us some Lake Highlands!