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Made In The USA

The following post is from Katie Engebretsen:

source: Beverly & Pack

As a mom, there are some days that I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.

There’s the need to feed real food to my kids to battle the obesity epidemic in America. The 3 Rs are imprinted on my brain with every decision I make. I buy the plastics that I’m told are best.

The list of things I should do is exhausting.

It is a daily challenge to find a balance between what’s best for my family and how to be a good steward with the time, money, and earth that God has given me. It is physically and mentally draining. And I know I’m not the only one out there who feels this way.

When it comes to this motherhood thing, I’m all in. Or so I think.

Each night when I turn on the TV I am bombarded with bad news. Prices on everything from milk to interest rates are skyrocketing. Add to that, high unemployment and low consumer confidence; I don’t need a degree in economics to know bad news when I see it.

Even on days that I count huge successes in parenting or stewardship, I end up lying awake at night wondering if I really am doing my part for the world in which I live. Worrying about my family is not new to me. Worrying about my country is.

I grew up with extreme confidence in America.

I knew that we were the best and I was proud to live here. I still believe we are the best and I’m ever so proud to call America my home. My confidence, though? It’s lacking.

As an innate problem solver I ask – what can I do about it? Or, realistically, what can I do about it with the hours I have left in my day? Sometimes I feel the fire in my belly to get up and fight. More often I go to bed and give it to God.

Then, one night as I was getting my usual dose of the news, I heard a promising statistic. If Americans spend just 1% more on products made in the USA we could create 200,000 jobs! That comes out to only 18 cents a day or 64 dollars a year.

My ears perked up. I may not have control of much, but I do have control over my cash. Could I really make a difference in the economy just by choosing an American made tee shirt versus one made in Indonesia? Or a purse, a remote control, a picture frame?

Do you buy American made?

I started looking around my house to see how many American made things I owned. Boy, was that an eye opener! I do not own one clothing item that was made in the USA. Not one. Very few of our family’s toys or electronics fit the USA made bill either. Huh. My well of optimism was drying up. This wouldn’t be the easiest attempt at fulfilling my civic duty, after all.

However, when I did an Internet search for American made products, I learned that many concerned Americans have already started a pool of resources for those of us interested in building manufacturing jobs in America.

The following links are fascinating resources on the reasons we should buy American made products and where we can get them:

  • How To Buy American was created by the author of How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism, Roger Simmermaker. The site has reviews, links, and recommended reading on the subject of buying American made.
  • Americans Working has a directory of products ranging from art to office supplies to uniforms all made in the great US of A.
  • Made in USA and American Made Matters have more resources for your quest to buy from manufacturers who live and work in the country you’re proud to call home.

Is this an easy task?

Truthfully, no. Is it something you can do all the time? Nope. Do our kids deserve an America they can be proud of and confident in? I believe they do. I have 1% or more to spend trying to give it to them. It’s the least I can do for my kids and yours.

Do you buy American? What are your favorite American products?

Katie Engebretsen is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner. By day, she’s a stay at home mom of two active toddlers, who enjoys going to the park and impromptu living room dance parties. By night, she is a student of parenting, current events, real food, and her Christian faith, seeking out the tools to become an informed advocate for her growing family.