The Fall of the year is when many organizations raise money for their individual goals and purposes. These efforts go hand in hand with knocking on local business doors requesting donations, services and money. This is also the time of year when many of us start planning our Christmas gift list and making holiday preparations.

Wallowa County is an amazing community that supports many wonderful and sometimes tragic events. I would like to talk about the kindness and generosity of so many of our local merchants and businesses that open their coffers to support the many worthwhile causes in our community. The list is endless. Listing them would take up a whole page. Most often, our local businesses contribute for every request. And... we ask, and ask, and ask again.

On-line shopping and large box stores have dealt a devastating blow to Small Town, America. Vacant storefront windows have replaced many thriving small businesses in our own community. With each closure, we all lose a little bit of our collective heart, the fiber that binds us together, the places where we gather and share our lives.

I certainly recognize the value of saving money when possible. I too shop on-line for many things I can’t find locally. However, most large on-line businesses spend not one penny on the wants and needs of our community. Other than wooing us as potential customers, they are simply not vested in us.

I am only suggesting that we seriously consider what we get back from our business community when we shop locally. It goes a long way in funding the lifestyle that we, in Wallowa County, have grown accustomed to and expect. Take advantage of the wonderful selection of merchandise in our local shops and recognize that if you spend a little more, the rewards are invaluable. The road goes both ways.


Gail Johnson

Wallowa County

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