(Left) One individual commits to opening a door for someone and another person promises to shovel their neighbor’s driveway. (Right) At the Peacock Mercantile, sticky notes with written Do Good promises line the chair guard. (Photos by Frank Turner)
Hettinger has food drives, toy drives, and angel trees; all are great ways to contribute to the holiday spirit. Christmas is a giving season, however not everybody always has something material to give. There may be people in the area who have great intentions, but may not have the financial means to participate in these events. Pam Burch, owner of the Peacock Mercantile, pondered this idea and came up with the Do Good campaign.
“In Hettinger we have great ways to donate for Christmas, but a lot of times people are financially stressed,” Burch said.
A green or red sticky note pad sits at every table in the Peacock Mercantile. On those notes, a person can anonymously write down something actionable that they will do for others in the community. After a person writes and commits to their helpful idea, they can stick them to the wall for others to see. Then, they go out into the community and do what they wrote.
“People can read the sticky notes and see what other people are doing and be inspired to Do Good.”
The Do Good campaign is one that includes everyone. To participate, a person only needs a few spare minutes and a creative idea to help others.
“It’s just the idea that people as human beings and citizens are going to take time out of their schedule, whether it be five or ten minutes, to commit to something good for the holiday season,” said Burch.
“I really want to get students involved, so I’m probably going to go to the school and let them know that they can go to the nursing home and read or play a game with somebody.”
Burch based her Do Good campaign from the Merriam-Webster definition of do-good as, “designed or disposed sometimes impracticably and too zealously toward bettering the conditions under which others live.”
“It doesn’t have even have to be practical,” said Burch. One person wrote down that they would send a card to a friend. Another wrote that they would shovel their neighbors drive way. It all works as long as someone is bettering the condition of someone else.
“The other night we had a girlfriend and boyfriend write that they would play checkers with some old folks and so far that has been my favorite note put on the wall,” said Burch.
“I just want to try and change the mindset that a gift always has to be something tangible. It’s more about your thought and time.”
People are also encouraged to take a video or pictures of their Do Good commitment and privately message it to the Peacock Mercantile Facebook page. Then, the Peacock will post the videos and pictures of people doing good.
The Do Good campaign is one that looks to be a new tradition at the Peacock. “I would like the Do Good campaign to be year round, not just Christmas” said Burch.
Luckily for the Do Good campaign, benefiting the Adams County community is something that doesn’t go out of style.