I don't know if it's because I'm a Sagittarius and every horoscope ever has said we are born travelers! I've been a few places (Canada) but then...my son, other grown-up priorities, yada yada, kind of squashed those travel dreams, but I LOVE The West Side Bazaar. And with the latest snow, I go Carribean! It's like traveling the world all in one place.

Credit: Jolene Baller, Townsquare Media
Credit: Jolene Baller, Townsquare Media

I've always supported my West Side community for many years and like to buy locally to help increase the tax base. At West Side Bazaar I get to travel the world all in one place! The fabrics, colors and spices intrigue me. The moms I've met all have the exact heart as me and work hard for their children, like me

Now, I have friends and family that won't eat anything unfamiliar and people speaking other languages make them uncomfortable. That's okay. This is not for them.

Credit: Jolene Baller, Townsquare Media
Credit: Jolene Baller, Townsquare Media

Me? I LOVE IT! Did you know that every country all around the world, have their own version of two things: a donut and a dumpling. Isn't that fascinating?! The West Side Bazaar's kitchens are all certified by the Erie County Health Department and use as many local meats and produce as they can get. It's all SO good and fresh. Their families mingle with my family. Lots of smiles all around and we all smile in the same language.

Credit: Jolene Baller, Townsquare Media
Credit: Jolene Baller, Townsquare Media

So, here's what happens with the many newly immigrated in Western New York through the good people at WEDI.  After many years doing all the legal things they had to do to get to the U.S, (many waiting literally years for their legal papers in refugee camps to get their shot at the American dream..oh, the kids sometimes only fashioned a ball to play with there, which is why they're kicking butt at soccer in WNY schools! But I digress...) they get these kiosks at West Side Bazaar. The many immigrant-intake centers on Buffalo's West Side teach our language, shows them how to make a business plan, and they set up a kiosk at the Bazaar to sell and learn the ropes, which includes becoming a tax paying U.S citizen. That's just like my Italian Nanno just one generation ago!  It's an education and promise for a future not offered in their previous countries. Many have gone on to open wonderful restaurants, shops, and stores (which further increase our tax base). If you'd like to learn more, donate or volunteer for another great little non-profit that makes your heart happy, you can click here: WEDI

It makes our world a little smaller and more manageable. And to quote Jim Stafford, "Take a trip and never leave the farm"!

Jolene.Baller@Townsquaremedia.com