The new year has finally arrived, and I am sure hoping it is a big improvement over this last year we all endured. As we look to the future and set our intentions for the year to come, I thought it might be a good time to focus on setting some New Year’s resolutions that will help us continue to come together as a community to get through these trying times.
So, as you come up with your personal goals for the coming year, consider adding a few of these to the list.
1. Support local businesses.
I’ve said this before and am sure to say it again, but supporting local businesses has never been more important. I know Amazon is a convenient way to buy everything from groceries to home improvement materials, but we gain more as a community while still meeting our needs if we shop at our local grocers and hardware stores instead.
2. Use local contractors.
Many of us are spending more time at home and are taking on some of those home improvement projects we have been putting off forever. If you are considering painting, repairing your roof, adding a covered porch, or just tightening some loose doorknobs, commit to using local contractors whenever possible.
3. Donate regularly to Pantry 4 Paws.
We are all still working our way through the pandemic and what life will look like afterwards. An important piece to this is coming together as a community to support each other in whatever ways we can. Folks who can afford to donate dry dog and cat food can help those in need by dropping off unopened bags of food at the Humane Society of Ventura County (402 Bryant Street) for the Pantry 4 Paws program. The food is then distributed through dispensers placed throughout the county.
4. Set up a monthly donation for a local organization.
Most non-profits and community organizations have made giving simple by setting up automatic, monthly donor programs. If your budget allows, find a local organization that resonates with you and could use your help, such as HELP of Ojai, Ojai Raptor Center, Ojai Land Conservancy, Turtle Conservancy, or Secure Beginnings.
5. Clear your clutter for a cause.
If cleaning out closets or finally organizing your garage is on your list of resolutions this year, make clearing your clutter more enjoyable by doing it for a cause. For example, household items and clothing donated to 2nd Helpings Thrift Store provide lower-cost necessities for local families while supporting the services provided by HELP of Ojai.
AimeeJo Davis-Varela is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, sustainable home improvement, eco-friendly landscaping, green living and travel writing. She is also the owner of Mind Your Manors, which provides second home management services.
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