Miss A Columnist

Alicia Lawrence was born and raised in Alaska, and has traveled around the world seeking adventure. She’s ridden in a dog sled, climbed over the Roman ruins, got lost in Venice, sang on the Swiss Alps, built a house in Mexico, walked over volcanos in Hawaii, and visited more museums then she can count.
Alicia graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University in 2012 with three degrees in public relations, broadcasting, and journalism. She’s volunteered for numerous non-profits, including Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center and Special Olympics Virginia. Her senior year she founded Forty-Eight, a charity film competition that brought together film students to help make promotional videos for local charities.
Alicia is a health enthusiast and writes for numerous blogs in the beauty and health genre. She also won Miss Alaska Sweetheart Sr. in high school and enjoys helping others not only look beautiful on the outside but also find their inner beauty.
After college, Alicia married her best friend and she currently works at a tech company as a content coordinator.

Travel Globally, Spend Locally

In America, there’s been a big push towards shopping at local merchants to stimulate the economy, but even if you travel beyond your home base, there are still ways to practice this mindset wherever you go. Let’s look at a few ways to do it while supporting people’s livelihoods and other good causes.

Find Treasures in Charity Shops

Places like the United Kingdom are well known for having charity shops that sell secondhand products with proceeds going to support established causes such as OXFAM and the British Heart Foundation. Some shops will even accept used mobile phones, why not go into one of the locations, browse the items for sale and drop off your old mobile phone, too?

Eat at Restaurants That Are Committed to Charities

At Cause – The PhilanthroPub. Image Credit: Cause Facebook

One of the simplest ways to find the coolest spots in a particular town is often just to strike up a friendly conversation with the person sitting beside you. A Washington D.C. pub has made a bold move to be charitable while offering an area for visitors and locals to mingle and share information. It’s called Cause, and it’s billed as a “philantropub”. Impressively, overhead costs are kept low and 100 percent of net profits are donated to charities every quarter. Cause is also conveniently located one block from the U Street metro station.

If you’re traveling to either Florida or Philadelphia, think about purchasing coupons from a website called CharityDine. They’ll allow you to save on the cost of meals, but the money you spend for the coupons goes to support charities. When you’re in other cities around the globe, start spreading the word that you’re interested in eating a meal that gives back. Many establishments, like this premier Italian restaurant called Bricco, have decided to support local farmers by purchasing items exclusively from them, giving proceeds from meals to local charitable causes or both.

Get the LookLocal App

Image Credit: The 3/50 Project Facebook

One common challenge for local businesses is they often don’t have resources available to put towards advertising, so even if you wanted to shop at a local establishment, it’d be difficult to find one. An app released by The 3/50 Project aims to make it easier to find small businesses on your smartphone. Available for free, the LookLocal app connects you with bed and breakfasts, retailers and service providers that are nearby, letting you support local merchants in a reliable way.

Shopping locally when you’re away from home does require some extra effort, but it’ll help you feel good about having a direct and positive impact both on local businesses and national charities. Retool your shopping strategies by practicing these suggestions, and see what differences you can make!

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