Connect the dots was a favorite game of mine when I was a kid—there’s something so satisfying about watching a mess of black dots turn into a bird or a landscape. Now, as the Interim Executive Director at TwispWorks, I find connecting the dots is what I do every day. Are housing and the local economy connected? You bet! Thriving arts town and climate change? YES! Connecting the dots is a core part of TwispWorks.
For example, as the valley recovers from the affects of wildfires and COVID interruptions, we at TwispWorks, have been working to support our community and economy with grants and extra support for local businesses up and down the valley. We’re also collaborating with our community of nonprofits on housing. We’re sitting at the table, working as a big team to find ways to build housing by connecting funders with real on-the-ground projects.
Connecting the dots is also something I invite you to do with us. How? Please shop locally this holiday season. It will help keep artists busy, businesses open, and the workforce strong. I believe it even gives us better prospects for improving housing. If many of us connect the dots between our shopping habits and the changes we’d like to see in our valley (more housing, thriving downtowns, kids with full bellies, help dealing with smoke and wildfires) we are more likely to make those things happen.
Shopping locally also connects you with personal benefits. This season’s holiday shopping season is predicted to be record-breaking in terms of sales, as well as frustration. With supply chain issues, shipping challenges, and a lack of drivers and delivery people, expect to see a lot of out-of-stock signs and delayed packages. When you shop locally, you can avoid all this frustration.
Shopping locally, connecting the dots, it’s good for all of us. When you buy honey or a knitted cap for a friend, you’re helping neighbors afford a rapidly rising cost of living and recover from the effects of wildfires and COVID on small businesses. When we see the valley as connect-the-dots, we start to see how interrelated we actually are—and what an enormous impact our choices can have on our neighbors and our future.
-Written by Interim Executive Director Sarah Brown