The “Made in America” Holiday Shopping Challenge is about a pledge to buy American made gifts this holiday season. That means making a promise to look at the tags on everything you buy for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays and an effort to buy “American Made”.
It’s a pledge to think about locally made gifts, handmade gifts and items that will support people and businesses in your community.
It’s an experiment to see if people like you and I can use the power of our purchasing choices to make a difference in our communities by creating jobs.
A few years ago we began to notice a movement of people wanting to buy American made products. Soon after Diane Sawyer and ABC News established the "Made in America" series. The series was citing some amazing statistics like this: if each American spends just $3.33 on American made goods this year it would generate 10,000 jobs.
Inspired by the TV series our staff member Dennis Shanoff recognized that pairing the Made in America movement with the holidays could make a difference. In the Vermont Woods Studios office, we committed to having an American made holiday office party consisting of a Yankee Swap with American made products. Noting the difference we could make with just a small business' office party, we reached out to our friends, neighbors, and customers across the United States. We wanted to have an impact, the kind of impact Diane Sawyer was talking about on ABC News. We wanted to support our country's economy by purchasing the goods made right here in the United States, and that's how the Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge was born.
Soon after, our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge caught the eye of the producers at ABC News, and we were invited to join Diane Sawyer in an episode of the Made in America series! Watch our Staff and Our Challenge from 2011 on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.
Now in our third year, we are continuing with full force. Join the movement, buy American made products, and spread the word!
Would you believe almost 5 Million jobs? The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend about $602 Billion this holiday season. In comparison, ABC news noted that US college students spent about $46 Billion in back to school shopping this year, an amount that they calculated would generate half a million jobs. Holiday spending will be 13X more than back to college spending, so following ABC's logic, it could generate over 5 million jobs. We really could make a difference!
**We know there are lots of other considerations to be factored in and this is not a scientific calculation by any means, but it does give one an idea of the considerable power American consumers have at the cash register. 5 million jobs is over half of the total unemployment in our country.