Think about it

Dear editor:
I’ve written this letter a half-dozen times, and it comes across as either preachy or hypocritical at best—or a shake down at worst.
It’s not intended as any of these, especially the latter.
It’s that time of year again. Sports season. All the kids go back to school and join organized sports, and we parents pedal them all over town looking (and, in some instances, begging) for money.
It’s been said that “it takes a community to raise a child.” I know that it is as true a statement as they come. As a parent of three kids who have participated in sports, I am thankful for the donations the businesses and individuals in our community have been able to provide.
Even more appreciative in this economic climate.
I have been putting the “touch” on businesses in our community for more than 10 years now, and they always have come through. This past spring, when our girls’ high school hockey team went to OFSAA for the first time in its history, we parents—hat in hand—went out again looking for donations.
Again, businesses came through. Like Tompkins Hardware and North American, to name just a couple.
Companies that aren’t based in our community, but do business here, came through, as well. Like Vianet, which donated $1,000.
This is the difficult part of this letter. I want to premise this statement first by saying any business or individual can—and should—do what they wish with their money.
As part of the solicitation for donations, I extended a letter to Menards. I thought that perhaps since the Falls’ store is the second-largest in the entire chain, that they might support a community that supports them.
We (Canadians) are why it’s the second-largest store.
I was mistaken. It was the fact that I never even received a rejection letter that truly drove home the reality of who is part of our community and who isn’t, and who we should do business with.
I listened to advertisements on the Falls radio to “shop local as the businesses are what provides the tax base and support our kids.” So when I recently bought metal siding, I did just that and I shopped local—Fort Frances local—and saved over $1,300.
We Canadians need to take a good look at ourselves and ask if it is worth it. $20 here or there won’t make us rich, but it will make us poor.
John Milling
Fort Frances, Ont.