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Creating Stronger Communities through Conscious Purchasing

These titles are available in our collection at, with some available digitally as well as in print.

We’re in the midst of a most unusual holiday season, with supply chain challenges affecting businesses on all levels. Retailers have encouraged pre-ordering, early buying and the merits of purchasing from current inventory.

Meanwhile, social media sites are encouraging shoppers to avoid stress by purchasing gifts from local artisans instead, a strategy that has the added benefit of supporting the health and economy of our community.

The books I’m recommending this season reflect this movement. For example, we all want stronger communities, but how do we go about creating them? Author, speaker and adviser Charles H. Vogl offers some thoughtful insights in his inspiring book “The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging.”

Business owner Jane Mosbacher Morris brings a unique perspective to the concept in her book “Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place.” After visiting a business in India that employs women fleeing trafficking, Morris started a company called To the Market with a goal of connecting retailers to ethically and sustainably created goods. She explains how she developed her business and shares ways for consumers to make a positive difference with their own purchasing choices, including a delicious chapter on chocolate.

Following the success of her award-winning cookbook “Ruffage,” Michigan chef Abra Berens turns her attention to more local and sustainable ingredients in “Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds and Legumes: 140+ Recipes and 160+ Variations.” Gorgeous photography, seasonal recipe variations and profiles of growers are featured in this book that would also make a lovely and useful gift.

These titles are available in our collection at, with some available digitally as well as in print.


Days of Giveaways

We’re bringing back the 517 Days of Giveaways starting Monday, November 28! 

Operation Good Cheer Brings Christmas to Thousands of Michigan Foster Kids

The children who participate in Operation Good Cheer are victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment.

Days of Giveaways is back for 3rd annual Holiday Gifting

“Like” and follow our Facebook or Instagram pages @517mag so that you don’t miss the fun.

Training Trio Presents Safety and Supervisor/Management Certification

The Training Trio includes Lisa Fischer, Tracy Hazel and Brittany Parks.

Black Santa Experience Comes to Lansing

The Black Santa Experience will allow children the opportunity to visit a Santa that looks like them.