CASSANDRA JENKINS — Shopping locally fulfills, rewards whole community

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, December 11, 2019

It’s easy to shop at a big box store where you can get what you want in one easy swoop, but the reward afterward is minimal.

With each purchase the money goes toward a large corporation and to fill the pockets of a national CEO, but for local businesses and homemakers, it truly makes a difference, especially around the holidays.

A recent article this week focused on wreath maker Rebecca Abrego, who uses the money she makes to pay for her expensive multiple sclerosis medicine.

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Others, who own Facebook boutiques and storefronts, use the funds to buy their children Christmas gifts, put food on the table and pay bills.

Mid- and South County is stocked with local boutiques, clothing shops, music halls, thrift stores and more found along Boston Avenue, Port Neches Avenue, downtown Port Arthur and others. Purchasing just one large item or several small ones from any of the homegrown shops lined along the heart of these cities can mean the world to local owners.

Groves Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ronnie Boneau said he is hoping to see many shoppers fill the streets this season before moving along to other stores outside the city.

“That’s what we like here in Groves,” he said. “Most of ours, if not all of our retail places in Groves, are small mom-and-pop operations. We want everyone to come shop here before they cross out of the city to other shops. That’s our goal. To try to encourage our people to shop local as much as they can.”

Events like Groves Christmas Tree Trail, Art Walk on the Avenue, Trade Days and Market Days promote these businesses and the families that run them.

“You might not think it makes a difference, but in a community like ours, it makes a huge difference,” President of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce Diana LaBorde said. “It’s people who live here, work here, raise children here and they choose our community to invest their life and business in. It’s the lifeblood of our community. When you shop here, you are shopping with people you know, someone you trust and the bulk of the money stays right here to help families in your neighborhood, who go to your church or hang out with your kids in school.”

So as the majority of Christmas shopping gets underway, don’t forget to stop while you’re out and take a second to get a customized tumbler from a consignment shop, stop by and order a personalized quilt or handmade piece of jewelry.

If you are looking for antiques or special finds, check out the Missions Attic in Groves, where proceeds go to those in need and funds feed into different charities.

Even one toy or piece of jewelry can make a difference in someone’s individual life.

Shop local and feel the difference it makes to others and yourself.

Cassandra Jenkins is a reporter for The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at