The Hub December 2016/January 2017 - Page 13

But Devonshire also supports charities in the community . During the holiday season , local organizations come into the mall and participate in several programs including gift wrapping . The money raised for organizations like Community Living Essex and other groups supports people in the 100km circle .
“ We have been operating gift wrapping at the mall for nearly 25 years now ,” said Tony DeSantis from Community Living Essex County . “ On average we have raised $ 15,000 each year .” This money goes towards day trips , memberships , personal items and other items not covered by funding . CLEC supports over 650 people with intellectual disabilities and has been doing so since 1961 .
For smaller businesses with limited funds , reaching out to the community during the busy holiday season can be difficult . However , it can mean the difference between opening and closing in the New Year .
Ten Thousand Villages Windsor tries to make the store welcoming and open all year round by offering customers coffee and tea when they walk through the door . They also hold different events throughout the year besides the holiday season , like jazz nights and guest speakers .
Casa Chavela advertises their store through local community outlets , and carries some products by local makers . They also collect canned goods for local food banks , and try to give as much as they get .
“ We collect donations of CDs , books and records and sell them ,” said Munsterhjelm . “ We don ' t have a lot of extra money to spare , but the money we get from selling these items we give to charities . The store does this about four times a year .”
One other 100km option is local makers , crafters and artists who may not have mortar and brick operations here in Windsor . Their creations and works are sold online using Etsy , Redbubble , Kijiji and several other free online sales platforms . You can also find them at craft fairs , bazaars and arts collectives throughout the area .
Shopping local does not only affect boutique and small retail stores . Bakeries and specialty food stores are feeling the pressure during the holiday season too . “ Christmas Eve is our busiest time of the year , and December more or less is the busiest month ,” said Sladjana Jovanoski ,
Casa Chavela offers unique items that often have a backstory