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 me can use the power of our purchasing choices to make a difference in our communities by creating jobs.How Did The “Made in America” Holiday Shopping Challenge Get Started?
This project began when our staff was watching online videos from the “Made in America” series on ABC news. Diane Sawyer 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.
A staff member, Dennis Shanoff noted that we’ll all be spending lots of money soon—on Christmas presents. He floated the idea of buying only American made gifts for the holiday season. If we could do that in the office, would it make a difference? If we brought our friends and neighbors on board with the idea, what kind of an impact could we have? If we reached out further, say to our customers across the country and our community in Vermont, could we grow the project through word of mouth and social media? How much impact could we have?
How Many Jobs Could Be Created If Americans All Purchased American Made Holiday Gifts This Year?
Would you believe almost 5 Million jobs? The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend about $462 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 10X more than back to college spending, so following ABC's logic, it could generate 4.6 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. 4.6 million jobs is about a third of the total unemployment in our country.)
Join Us! Pledge To Buy American Made Holiday Gifts And Help Spread The Word!
Show your support by liking us on Facebook, then attending our Made in American Holiday Gift Facebook Event (virtually by clicking "attend" -- you don't have to actually go anywhere). Check out our Blog to share ideas, research and findings about buying American made holiday gifts. We’ll post photos and links to our favorite finds and you can do the same on our Facebook. You can also post questions like, “where can I buy American made jeans?”and we'll scout around for some and post what we find.
Let's see if we can make a difference buying American made gifts for the holidays. Make a Pledge to Buy American. Write about it in your blog. Share it on your Facebook. Write an article for your local newspaper. Email it to your Mom. See if your friends and co-workers will jump on board too. I think we can do it.
Watch Our Staff and Our Challenge on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer