Did you pay for a friend or stranger’s coffee this week? Have you held the door open for a group of people? Did you call someone just to tell them how much they mean to you? Or how about smiling at a stranger and telling them to have a nice day? Well if you have not done so yet, you should because this week is Random Acts of Kindness Week! Every February, and this year from February 11th to February 17th, Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates everyone joining together through kindness. It only takes one person to start the chain reaction that encourages others to act kind. With kindness on our minds here at the SBDC, we wanted to showcase one of the lovely businesses we work with. Lavish Body and Home in Scranton, displays a great example of a small business being involved in our community.
In addition to Lavish Body and Home’s unique and luxury items offered, owners, Micah and Lauren Woodard, are heavily involved with the local Coaches vs. Cancer chapter. This organization holds a spot near to the Woodard’s heart as their son is a cancer survivor, which is how they became involved years ago. After holding leadership level roles the past few years, this year the Lavish owners will be co-chairing the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Gala. When speaking with Micah he explained to me one of the most enjoyable parts of owning a small business; to him, it is having a platform that allows him an influence in the community. The ability to shine a light on these topics and speak at different events through their business have enabled the Woodard’s to be directly involved in the community. Lavish’s connections with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good, Feel Better Program have provided community members with an experience that normally would not be enjoyable. The Salon at Lavish has met with women and fitted them for wigs, turning the event into something more than just a negative effect of their treatments. The team at Lavish’s hope is for their salon and store to be a safe haven for those who need it. Micah also spoke a lot about the upcoming Gala that will take place this year on May 12th at the Mohegan Sun Pocono. With the local chapter being the largest market that does not have a Division I team attached to it, donations thus far have reached up to $1.6 million and the goal of this year’s donations is set at $2 million. This year’s donations will benefit Hope Lodge, facilities that offer patients and their families a free place to stay when traveling to other cities for treatments. The expectations this year are to cover the cost for over 50% of families from NEPA. Additionally, Micah also noted that Lavish is involved with two other local charities; Marley’s Mission, providing free equine therapy for children who have experienced trauma, and Jog for Jude, a race that raises awareness and funds for S.I.D.S. research. An important take away from the conversation with Lavish owner would be that as long as people are giving back and actively involved with the community then we are continually making strides going forward.
While being kind to others and giving back to the community is wonderful in itself, it is also beneficial to your small business. It allows your business to be well recognized in the community and to have a reputable association. By supporting the community in which your business is located, you are in turn bettering the location and community itself and making it a better place to live and do business. People enjoy frequenting businesses that have a stake in the community because they know their business will benefit all aspects of the public. Another benefit is the networking opportunities that philanthropic organizations offer. Connections all over the community, state, and nation are beneficial to small businesses, so the more your name is out there, the better. What better way to benefit your business than doing something that also benefits the community and others! For all you small businesses out there that feel it is important to give back to your community and are not exactly sure how to or do not have the largest donation fund, here is a link, 10 Ways Your Small Business Can Give Back, for some ideas on how to give back! We challenge everyone out there to complete a Random Acts of Kindness this week and for small businesses to do the same! Share with us what your Random Act of Kindness was and spread the word to others. Don’t forget to visit www.scrantonsbdc.com for all your small business needs.
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center
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