Submitted by: Sustainable Connections

In a time when more purchases than ever are being made online, Sustainable Connections wants to help make shopping local fun, easy and the first thing you think about this holiday season.

This year, the local nonprofit that runs Whatcom County’s Think and Eat Local First Campaigns, announces a brand new, community-wide holiday competition, the Cheermeister Challenge. Participants simply have to check off one of five tasks to be entered to win local prize packages that will be drawn each Friday in December. The more tasks you complete, the more chances you have at winning!

One can share their random act of holiday kindness, describe a local gift they are going to give, download a local coupon app or vote for their favorite window in the downtown and Fairhaven Window Decorating Contest! More than thirty stores are participating in the window decorating challenge and could win one (or more) of three categories: Mayor’s Choice, People’s Choice and the Local Business Panel’s Choice.

The Crafty Family Prize Pack will be the first prize drawn on December 8, and includes a $50 Boundary Bay gift card, a $10 Village Books gift card, handmade fudge from Paper Dreams, $25 to Twin Sisters Creamery, a $25 gift card for the Co-op, two free tickets to the Pickford plus a custom pint glass and one free popcorn, gift cards to Ragfinery, the ReStore and more! 

To make shopping local easy, Sustainable Connections has also published the Holiday Shopping Guide, featuring local gift items and ideas for every budget. It also has a local businesses directory organized by types of gifts. Our local businesses have unique and special offerings for all!

“Independent businesses are the heart of our downtown; be it Lynden, Ferndale or Bellingham. They also invest up to three times more back into our local economy than large chains,” says Becca Weathers, Think Local First Program Coordinator. More than just a fun way to celebrate the season, the Cheermeister Challenge and Holiday Shopping Guide hope to remind us that communities that shop local stay vibrant.

The Think Local First Program is made possible by generous sponsorship from City of Bellingham, Cascadia Weekly, Village Books & Paper Dreams, Whatcom Educational Credit Union, Samuel’s Furniture, Bellingham Frameworks, Mt Baker Care Center, Overhead Door Co. of Bellingham, Final Touch Auto Spa, Louis Auto Glass, Bay City Supply, Lithtex NW, Brio Laundry, Steele Financial Services and Fairhaven Runners & Walkers.

For all the details, please visit sustainableconnections.org or pick up a hard copy of the Holiday Gift Guide at Village Books, the Community Food Co-op, or many of the business participating the in Window Decorating Contest.  

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