Tuesday, April 2, 2013
And Then There's This...
Dear My Toy Garden friends!
Kathy is job hunting again. Writing her resume. Collecting her references. Looking at the Help Wanted ads. This was not her plan. Like many out of work adults, life handed her a twist and she finds herself unemployed worrying about the future for her husband and 2 children. Kathy's employer was not a large company. Her employer didn't downsize. Her employer didn't merge with someone else and eliminate her job.
Once upon a time, Kathy was a teacher. An elementary teacher and she loved her job very much. She poured her time and talents and compassion into her students. She wanted something more. She wanted to make an even bigger difference. So she started to put her dreams into action. It took a few years to put the gears into place and be ready to flip the switch but in 2007, it happened. She and her husband celebrated the Grand Opening of Toys in the Attic! What a joyous time that was! Old and new friends came to play, to connect, to be inspired. The first year or two were all she dreamed them to be.
Then the economy began to shake and stumble. The town she lived in had it's fingers dug deeply into the new housing market. As dollars got tighter, fewer homes were built. The local families saw their paychecks shrink. People visited Toys in the Attic less and less. Kathy did what she could to let people know she was there for them. She carefully selected uinque products that were affordable yet allowed her to pay her bills. She was there with a listening ear, a hug, a parenting tip for the puzzled parent. She gift wrapped for free. She offered community events that provided much needed distractions. It wasn't enough.
People turned to online websites and big box stores to make what purchases they could. Their dollars left the local economy of Kathy's small town impacting Kathy's budget and sending a ripple effect out to the schools, public safety departments and other groups that counted on sales tax dollars to fund their efforts. A few weeks ago, after many months of doing everything she could, Kathy very sadly hung the "Out of Business" sign on the front door. She posted the picture below on her Facebook page simply captioned, "And then there's this..." Please send a prayer for her and her family as they seek the next steps of their journey.
I wish I could report to you that this does not happen in our own backyard. It does. My heart breaks to see KissZCook on 116th now with darkened windows and empty floorspace. Mudsocks Books on 116th and Allisonville announced 2 weeks ago that they are closing. Anyone who did not go visit their charming bookstore with treasures tucked here and there complete with a store cat missed a very special experience. An experience I guarantee you your Kindle or Nook will never provide. After several emails clearly stating their plight, they will soon hang an "Out of Business" sign up as well.
As I hear stories such as these, my prayers are said for My Toy Garden. I'm so very thankful for your support and love in our first year and half and I know that it is only through your continued love and support that we will be here for many years to come making a difference in every way we can. Please keep us and other locally owned stores in mind as you choose where to spend those precious, powerful dollars that you have. Only you can prevent "Out of Business" signs.