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JOY ALMOND COLUMN: Many reasons to donate on #GivingTuesday

By Joy Almond, for the SNAP

This week, we give thanks, shop big on Black Friday, then Shop Small on Saturday to support locally owned businesses. Monday is known as “Cyber Monday,” with bargains to be found at online sites.

But did you know there is also a day for giving back? Giving Tuesday, which takes place Dec. 3, is a day designated for charitable giving.

Joy Almond

There are many charities that do great work in our community in different capacities. If you have a heart for community, I ask you to consider a donation to the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation. The ADDC is a non-profit entity, with a mission “to create an environment for development that enhances Downtown Albemarle as the cultural, historic, social, economic and educational center of the community.”

As Main Street Manager for the city, my job and passion is to implement programs to carry out the non-profit’s mission.

For starters, the ADDC works to make our downtown an attractive district. We manage three downtown properties — Market Station, Liberty Gardens and Courthouse Square Park.

To keep these properties in shape, it takes ADDC funding to not only maintain, but also upgrade amenities.

This last year, Market Station has had Wi-Fi installed, as well as attractive string lighting mounted in the open air Market area.

The ADDC is also responsible for purchasing materials to maintain the facilities at Liberty Gardens and Courthouse Square.

There are numerous items on our wish list to enhance these properties and make them more enjoyable for the community.

The Design Committee not only invests ADDC dollars into seasonal flower plantings, these folks literally get their hands dirty planting flowerbeds, concrete urns and hanging baskets several times each year.

In addition to beautification, the ADDC also uses funds to encourage business growth. Since July 1, our Economic Vitality Committee has awarded more than $12,000 in matching grants for improvements made to downtown businesses in the areas of architecture, facade and signage.

Our Economic Vitality Committee also supports downtown businesses with #bedowntownbiz, a quarterly after-hours mixer hosted at different Downtown venues. At these, business owners and employees enjoy complimentary refreshments and hear announcements on downtown happenings.

The next #bedowntownbiz will be Dec. 19 at the ADDC Holiday Pop Up Shop, 113 S. Second St.

In partnership with the Promotions Committee, the Holiday Pop Up Shop was designed to host local crafters and provide customer amenities, such as free gift wrap on all downtown store purchases.

Funding to pay overhead of the shop space and customer amenities — you guessed it, ADDC non-profit dollars.

Our organization promotes a healthy lifestyle and support of local agriculture through hosting and managing the Stanly County Farmers Market.

The ADDC also hosts large events like the Stanly County Winter Wine Festival and the Outdoorsman’s Bonanza, each of which attracts more than 1,000 visitors to Albemarle.

The Promotions Committee also provides entertainment through smaller scale activities like Sounds at the Square, a live music series hosted at Courthouse Square Park during fall of 2019 and spring of 2020.

Our website provides links to contribute financially, as an event sponsor or through our Invest in Downtown initiative. We also have numerous volunteer opportunities available through ADDC committees and downtown events.

If you have an interest in helping Albemarle Downtown Development carry out its mission, visit albemarledowntown.com or call at 704-984-9415.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Joy Almond is Main Street Manager of Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation/City of Albemarle.