BEND, Ore. - It's hard to believe we're already talking Christmas shopping, but Black Friday is coming up. The Downtown Bend Business Association is urging you to think small before you rush to the big box stores.
Inside a brand new store on Minnesota Avenue in Bend, Patrick Wurtz is working on new ways to solve an age-old problem.
"To date, since we started, we've donated over 20,000 meals locally," Wurtz said Tuesday.
Right outside the T-shirt shop sits a sign prompting passersby to think about the company's cause. It reads: "Eaten today? Someone else hasn't."
"We always set a goal for meals -- we don't set goals for T-shirts," Wurtz said.
Wurtz and his two partners started 541 Threads two years ago with a bigger purpose than making stylish clothes.
"Every item we sell, we donate five meals to the food bank, so it's five fed for every thread -- 541," said Wurtz.
With Small Business Saturday right around the corner on Nov. 24, the new business owner is hoping for a big turnout.
"We are going to be doing some really, really good deals, where you can get two to three shirts for a really discounted price," Wurtz said.
Knowing you can get a T-shirt anywhere, Wurtz wants to remind you to think of all the companies that benefit from a local purchase. Both the screen printing and tags on the shirts are done in town.
"Each tag tells the 541 story, and it's kind of a reminder as you wear it of the cause you're providing for," said Wurtz.
Wurtz says 541 Threads might not have the long lines big box stores do on Black Friday, but they will be open for business. Like the other small businesses owners, Wurtz hopes people buy local, before and after Small Business Saturday.
"Now that I'm actually a small-business owner, I really do appreciate the 'Shop Local' movement," Wurtz said.
Also, 541 Threads is setting things up so if you buy their clothes online, you can donate your meals to any food bank in the country.
Through the rest of the year though, all of the meals from sales online will be going to food banks in New York, to help people affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Here's a link to 541 Thread's website: http://www.541threads.com