Empty shelves started a movement
The 19 Days of Norwich, 1% for the Haven Program, began in 2013 when a customer went into Dan & Whit’s and said that the Upper Valley Haven food shelf was nearly bare! There was no food for hungry people, and the few donations coming in were immediately taken. This kind soul had done a mini food drive. but it wasn’t enough to put food on the table for those who needed it most
A few days later, Dan Fraser landed on an idea, a bit crazy, but worth a try. In keeping with Ben & Jerry’s and Newman’s Own brands, Dan & Whit’s would donate 1% of sales for the first 19 days of December.
Dan & Whit’s was ready to try something new and different with this initiative. Bottom line, they didn’t want to have hungry neighbors in our community and everyone in town felt the same. The challenge went out and other businesses in town were asked to join.
As a business, Dan & Whit’s knows how difficult it is to donate to yet one more cause. With that in mind, Dan Fraser encouraged every business to create what works for them, deciding what products to include and how much feels appropriate to donate. 1% isn’t much all alone, but when everyone joins in, it works! In fact, in 2013, over $10,000 was donated from Norwich businesses from December 1-19 sales – made possible by the over 1 MILLION dollars in sales that occurred during that time frame.
As much as The 19 Days of Norwich supports the Upper Valley Haven, it also supports and encourages shopping at local businesses. It’s no secret that Upper Valley businesses want residents to shop locally.
Since 2014, businesses outside of Norwich joined the effort and customers throughout the Upper Valley have showed their support of this community effort to help curb hunger. Many people have continued their “local first” shopping habit throughout the year.
The 19 Days of Norwich worked because everyone gave a little bit more. Businesses gave 1% more, and residents and customers made a commitment to shop locally at businesses that supported the Haven. Working together the Upper Valley created something amazing. The collective spirit and energy have been simply magical.
In 2017, our 5th year of The 19 Days of Norwich and the Upper Valley, we hope that local businesses and individuals will continue to shop locally and support the Upper Valley Haven. At Dan & Whit’s, any and all purchases qualify – no minimum sales, no receipt to collect – it ALL applies – no restrictions. All we ask is that your gift be marked for the 19 Days, either written in the memo on the check or by given through our online giving page. You can also donate in person at Dan & Whit’s.
Make your holiday gift list and give Upper Valley businesses the right of first refusal before you consider shopping online or heading out of the area to shop.