Commentary: Your love letter to OKC 

Jenny Heinrichs (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Jenny Heinrichs

There is a lot I love about our city, and the holiday season is the perfect time to share that love in a couple of my favorite ways: shopping and volunteering.

This year, I’m doing most of my shopping at locally owned businesses. With so many great shops and options in Oklahoma City, there is really no need to do holiday shopping anywhere else.

Prices might be lower online, but it lacks one of the main advantages of shopping local: keeping your money in the local economy. For every dollar you spend in OKC, 45 cents of it is reinvested locally. However, if you shop at chain stores locally, only 15 cents makes its way back into OKC’s economy.

On top of that, shopping locally reduces environmental impact, and you can find amazing items made by artists and designers who are invested in your community and build lasting relationships with their customers.

Instead of braving the mall or a superstore on Black Friday, look for locally held pop-up shops featuring

Oklahoma vendors, including the Winter Shoppes at Myriad Botanical Gardens (opening Friday at 301 W. Reno Ave., wintershopsokc.com), Deluxe Winter Market (open Saturday and Sunday at Leadership Square, 211 N. Robinson Ave.; see this week’s story on P. 32) and Holiday Pop Up Shops (opens Friday on the northeast corner of N. Hudson Avenue and 10th Street, okcpopups.com).

Automobile Alley offers perfect gifts at Plenty Mercantile, 807 N. Broadway Ave., or Sara Kate Studios, 1100 N. Broadway Ave., #102. Farther north, the Plaza District on NW 16th Street between Classen Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue is home to locally owned art galleries, clothing shops and restaurants. And Blue Seven, 7518 N. May Ave., is full of clothing, quirky gifts and Oklahoma- centric items.

Helping others is especially important at this time of year, and there are so many ways to do just that. It’s easy and helpful to donate your gently used coat to Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter program with The Salvation Army. (Check out uss.salvationarmy.org for more details.) If you would prefer to volunteer, City Rescue Mission (cityrescue.org), Infant Crisis Services (infantcrisis.org) and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (regionalfoodbank.org) always appreciate help as well as monetary donations.

Investing in OKC, whether monetarily or with our time, will always pay off.

Let’s keep working toward making this community the best it can be and even greater for the next generation.

Jenny Heinrichs is the office manager at KOSU Radio and co-owner of Awful Objects and has been described as a serial volunteer.

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Jenny Heinrichs

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