The list of local businesses helping to Feed Brookline has been growing since the drive began last month. Merchants are collecting funds and/or food throughout the community to help support the Brookline Food Pantry. Because the demand for help from the Pantry has increased by an unprecedented over last year, many businesses felt drawn to get creative in bringing attention to the issue and encouraging the community to get involved.
In addition to hosting donation containers, some Brookline merchants have added thier own flair to the drive. For example,
The Pear Tree at 1298 Beacon St is giving away small free gifts - strands of beads, stretchy bracelets, etc - to folks who donate $2 and $3 to the Pantry. Owner Tania Kurkaa notes of her customer's enthusiasm, besides helping a great cause, it's fun and "people love free gifts".
Cause to Paws at 1386A Beacon St is collecting new and used dog coats, collars and leashes as well as their $1 pet toys. They are also offering 10% off any item bought at the store for donation and another 10% off anything customers buy for their own cat or dog.
Owner Terry Meyers explains "Cause to Paws...decided to try and help the families in need that also have pets. We have begun to see new customers who have adopted pets because the original owners could no longer afford to keep them. We felt if we could get people to donate cat or dog related items - especially necessities such as collars, leashes, treats, food and toys, it might help people consider keeping their pets instead of turning them in to shelters. Every little bit helps."
Mint Julep at 1302 Beacon St found a great way to sweeten the Drive for their customers. Owner Erin Schrutt explained that Mint Julep is donating funds collected in the store's gumball machine to the drive. The quarters collected are then used to purchase whatever the Brookline Pantry needs most year-round. In addition, Mint Julep offers a discount to all customers who drop off food donations.
Eureka! at 1349 Beacon St is holding an in-store raffle to benefit the Brookline Food Pantry. Each ticket costs $1 or you can get 3 tickets for $2.
Owner David Leschinsky says that at least half his customers purchase the 3-ticket pack, but many are buying more. Eureka has placed the prize box containing wrapped and un-wrapped items prominently in their shop window with a sign explaining the raffle is to benefit the Pantry. Whether or not customers have their heart set on specific raffle items, Leschinsky has found some customers "buy a few tickets anyway because the money is going to the food pantry."
As an added bonus to the community, all participating merchants are giving a discount to anyone making a $2 donation to the Feed Brookline Drive. The discount amount varies by merchant, so please ask for specifics as you shop locally. In addition to making your holiday shopping a little easier on your wallet, the extra effort on the part of local businesses provides greatly-needed support to help make sure no one in goes hungry in Brookline this holiday season.
By Catie Hayes, Editor