After two days of indulging on food and shopping, take a moment over the next few days to do something good for your neighbors.

The blitz of Thanksgiving and Black Friday are now a memory and soon it will be a sprint to Christmas and the New Year. Before diving headlong into Cyber Monday, don’t forget to shop small and offer some much-needed relief for a non-profit that can use a boost this time of the year.

Today is Small Business Saturday, an event that is small in name only. The 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey local independent retailers and restaurants made $17.8 billion during last November’s Small Business Saturday. Since the initiative began in 2010, an estimated $103 billion has been spent in local shops.

Approximately 67 cents of every dollar spent today in a Valley downtown stays in the local community according to a small business impact study.

“Really, everyone benefits from Small Business Saturday promotion,” said Ellen Ruby, executive director of the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership. “Anything that gives us the chance to bring people downtown to enjoy the atmosphere, community and offerings at the stores and restaurants in Lewisburg is a benefit to all of us.”

“The upcoming holiday season offers an excellent opportunity to support the commonwealth’s hardworking businesses,” said Dennis Davin, Department of Community and Economic Development. “I encourage you to shop local, eat local, and play local — not just on Small Business Saturday, November 30 — but all year long. If you’re not sure where to start, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office can help.”

There will be deals and specials at stores throughout the region, special community events interspersed in our downtowns to draw shoppers in. Take advantage of them.

When done shopping locally, hopefully you have enough left to help on Tuesday. According to its website, “Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: A day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.”

You can do that in countless ways. Donate your time, your money. Spend time at a food bank, write a check to the United Way. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Become an activist for a cause you believe in.

Last Giving Tuesday, Americans made 3.6 million gifts worth $400 million in online donations.

So as many become overwhelmed in the next few weeks, take a brief pause today and Tuesday. Do something for your neighbors. Do something for a stranger.

Every little thing helps.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher and top newsroom executives. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.

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