BATH — Christmas will last a day longer this year at Bath Natural Market.
The 36 Centre St. business plans to donate its gross sales revenue on Dec. 26 to five local nonprofits, and is seeking input from the community on which groups should be chosen.
Market staff will take recommendations through mid-December, and the organizations must serve the greater Bath area. Customers can then support the chosen five by shopping at the market Dec. 26.
The market first announced the plan on its Facebook page Nov. 29, and has since received a deluge of recommendations, including A Paw in the Door, Artvan, the Bath Area Food Pantry, Bath’s Food Mobile, the Bath Area BackPack Program, and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. The selected recipients will be announced on the Facebook page later this month.
“We care about food security, we care about children, we care about animals, and we care about the environment,” market owner Mark Schoninger said in an interview Dec. 2, adding that his store is “interested in seeing what our customers are most passionate about.”
He noted his desire to promote as many charitable groups as possible, so that even those that do not get chosen will garner publicity.
Bath Natural Market rang up $2,400 in sales Dec. 24, 2015, Schoninger said, adding that “if we do significantly more than that (this year), it will tell me that this process had an impact that would get people to come and put their own mark on this endeavor.”
Schoninger said he was inspired by Patagonia’s donations of all its Black Friday sales this year to environmental organizations around the world.
“They had expected to do $2 million in sales, and they did $10 million in sales,” he said. “… I decided to do something similar, but certainly (on a) a smaller scale.”
Schoninger said he chose the day after Christmas because he wanted to extend the holiday another day.
“People are so focused on Christmas; I wanted to do something after Christmas,” he explained. “There’s a lot of friction in the world now, and (the Dec. 26 donations are) kind of a way for my store, and the community, to hopefully heal at least a little bit.”
Melissa Reid waits on a customer Dec. 3 at the Bath Natural Market, which on Dec. 26 will donate all its sales to five non-profit organizations serving greater Bath.