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Posted on Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 9:26 a.m.

Shop Ann Arbor stores on Monday and help Warm the Children

By Ann Dwyer

When you shop local at local stores this holiday season, you now have the opportunity to support not just local business but also local charities such as Warm the Children. Beginning Monday, Ann Arbor’s Main Street Association is rolling out “12 Days of Giving.”

From Dec. 12- 23, participating downtown businesses will donate either a percentage of sales, a straight dollar amount, donations collected from customers or a combination of the three to the charity featured that day.

This Monday, Warm the Children will be the featured charity. Even if you have already done your Christmas shopping, shops around town will have donation cans out.

The idea for “12 Days of Giving” came during a meeting of the Main Street Association retailers.

“We were thinking about ideas to encourage people to shop local, give local,” said Maura Thomson, executive director of the Main Street Association. “It’s an effort to give to our community.”

The donations collected from “12 Days of Giving” on Monday will go toward buying warm clothes for children in need. Because and our fiscal partner, United Bank and Trust, cover all overhead costs, 100 percent of that donation will help keep those children warm this winter. We also work with the Ann Area Arbor Community Foundation to provide fiscal oversight as our nonprofit partner.

These are the businesses involved in the drive: 826michigan, Abracadabra Jewelry, Acme Mercantile, Ann Arbor Art Center, Antelope Antiques, Arbor Brewing Company, Carol Roeda Studio, Cherry Republic, Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub, Cupcake Station, Elmo’s Main Street T-Shirts, Espresso Royale, Falling Water Bookstore, Four Directions, La Belle Maison, Ann Arbor Magic Shop, M Den, Metamorphosis, Moosejaw, OM of Medicine, Organic Bliss, Perpetua Boutique, Salon XL, Seva, Sole Sisters, Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, Ten Thousand Villages, The Gown Shop, Underground Printing, Vault of Midnight and WSG.

To find out what other charities the Main Street Association will be donating to, visit

If this year is successful, Thomson said, the MSA will feature charities that did not make the cut this year. So be sure to “shop local, give local.”

There are many other easy ways to give to Warm the Children. You can do so online by visiting There, you can also find information on becoming a volunteer shopper. Shoppers handle the vouchers and assist families in shopping, ensuring that parents make wise purchasing decisions.

You also can make a donation in person by visiting any United Bank & Trust branch in Washtenaw County, or you can mail a donation to Warm the Children, c/o United Bank & Trust, PO Box 1127, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1127.

Throughout the year you can also visit our Community Space at 301 E. Liberty St. in downtown Ann Arbor and make a donation when you get a cup of coffee. The coffee is donated by local brewers, and all proceeds go to Warm the Children. This season, Mountain Country Coffee ( has donated all of the coffee for the 2011 Warm the Children campaign season.