Neighbors helping neighbors: Ace Hardware

September 28, 2010 in Community News & Stories

Starting yet another “buy local” initiative in Livingston has required a lot of pounding the pavement in order to achieve face-to-face conversations with business-owners and customers to explain what Livingston Buy Local is all about. Through the course of these conversations, a common theme has emerged: that buying local isn’t just about giving money to the store owner who lives down the street from you, but it’s also about supporting that store owner who supports other community groups. If it weren’t for local businesses, many extracurricular activities in Livingston would struggle to stay afloat, and we want to take a moment to highlight what businesses are doing to help their neighbors. Keep an eye out for a different feature every month.

When you think of Ace Hardware (http://www NULL.montanaacehardware, you probably think of a friendly and reliable hardware store. But the mission at Ace Hardware is about more than just providing you with the right tools for your next home improvement project.

The locally owned store helps support legion and little league baseball, youth soccer, little kids football, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the 4H program by purchasing the Grand Champion pig every year. They give monthly to 5 different food banks, 3 of which are located in Park County, and they donate auction items to the St. Mary’s Bash, Western Sustainability Exchange, and other fundraisers.

“Every person that asks gets something,” said Matt Dowdell, co-owner of the Livingston, Anaconda, and Butte Ace Hardware stores.

Together, Matt and co-owner Tom have worked hard to make a difference in these communities.

Each year Ace Hardware awards 6 $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. And they recently made a donation to Crazy Mountain Productions to help with the renovations at the old East Side School to get the new performing arts center under way.

Donating to these types of programs and activities help to get “kids to do positive things where they feel good about themselves,” Matt said.

Seeing kids participating in these programs is positive affirmation that their mission to positively impact their employees, customers, and community is an integral part of their store’s purpose.

“It makes me realize that our mission statement at the store – we’re doing it,” Matt said.