Why SeaCoast Local Is Launching
Seacoast Local is dedicated to connecting you to your community. We believe in that old New England tradition of knowing in your neighbor’s business. When you know what’s happening around you and choose to get involved, that leads to a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and a better community for all of us. There are two simple ways to do this: Volunteerism and buying local. Volunteering for a local nonprofit connects you instantly to your community. It’s a way to make new friends, do some real good for those in need, and feel better about yourself and the place you live.
And when you do business with independent, locally owned enterprises, your money makes more of an impact here on the Seacoast. Local, independent businesses provide more jobs and source more local supplies and services than national chains do. That’s good for the local economy. They also give two to three times more to local charities (as a percentage of sales) than national chains do.
All of these things come together in the Seacoast Local (H)EAT Campaign. This is local businesses, seeing a need in our community, banding together to raise awareness and money, in an effort to make the Seacoast an even better place.
What Can You Do?
Lots. Take a look at the Get Involved!
The (H)EAT program is made up entirely of volunteers, so you can become a committee member, volunteer, or simply participate in the many great activities and drives put together by (H)EAT.
Along with marketing materials, we’ve provided every Seacoast Local member business with a list of suggestions ranging from holding a raffle to selling coffee mugs to running in a 5K race! Or, you can come up with your own way to participate. There will be lots of information and details to follow as the program goes on.
Individuals are also welcome to not only donate, but to come up with their own fabulous fundraising ideas. This really is a co-operative effort, and many hands make light work.
Every year, our members and their loyal customers create (H)EAT promotions and events to raise funds for food and fuel assistance. Our aim is to raise enough for 10,000 meals and 10,000 gallons for immediate relief, while we all work together on long-term food and energy economy that local, green and fair.
Several years ago, Seacoast Local began the (H)EAT Campaign (pronounced Heat Eat), because we felt that it was important to draw attention to the fact that there were people living among us, our neighbors, who did not have enough to eat, or were unable to adequately heat their homes. Frankly, we think this is unacceptable, and the problem hasn’t gone away.
One of the things we learned in the process was that while food banks receive tremendous help at the holidays, they have a hard time in the summer. Why so? Because many families rely on the free or reduced lunch available through the school system to help feed their children. In the summer that help is not available.
So this year, during the months of March, and April, and May we are encouraging all of our Seacoast Local Business Members to find creative ways to help raise awareness and money for food and fuel assistance. We will be donating this money to area food banks in May with the hope of making a real difference in their ability to help our local residents this summer.
A portion of this fund will also go to local community action funds to assist this fall with fuel assistance.