Hobby Lobby moved to the Promenade at Pinnacle Hills on Feb. 28 of this year in order to “better serve Rogers customers,” said Kelly Black, director of advertising.

When people think of crafts, they think of Hobby Lobby. Call it a monopoly, call it a crafter’s paradise, but there is no doubt that Hobby Lobby dominates the craft community.

When looking for art supplies in Northwest Arkansas, there are few alternatives to Hobby Lobby. In addition, when most people shop at big businesses, it’s because they need or want something from the store. How the CEO or owner benefits from their purchases is not in the forefront of their mind, but maybe it should be.

“When I was in college, that was the only option (Hobby Lobby). When I finished college I thought: ‘Oh good. I never have to shop there again,’” said Amanda Wunderlich, art teacher.

Circa 2013, Hobby Lobby stated that they would allow their employees to be in same-sex marriages or relationships. When their donors voiced their disagreement, the statement was swiftly revoked. Then, in June of 2014, former President Barack Obama made it known that he planned on signing an executive order which prohibited discrimination from contractors on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. Fourteen faith leaders, most of whom were backed by Hobby Lobby, decided to send a letter asking for a religious exemption. The decision was put off until Obama was out of office. 

“I think that companies are [able] to be religious, but I really don’t think that an organization is a place to insert your religion, unless it’s a church,” said Christina Warren, 10.

Hobby Lobby and the owners, the Green family, mainly focus their charitable donations to Christian organizations. One of the most prominent is the National Christian Foundation (NCF). Donations that go through the NCF can aid in the spreading of Christianity, but they can also end up in homophobic pockets. The NCF has given funds to both the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom. The Family Research Council has participated in public action toward sexual orientation change efforts, better known as conversion therapy. The president of the organization, Tony Perkins, has also developed a habit of comparing homosexuality and pedophilia. Furthermore, the Alliance Defending Freedom supported efforts  in “sterilizing transgender individuals” and criminalizing gay sex.  

 “I don’t think any money should be going to any organization of that sort,” said Alyssa Huerta, 10. 

This begs the question: if it is their money, can people tell them how to spend it? Hobby Lobby’s annual revenue in 2021 evened out to $6.4 billion. On average, the Green family takes in $5 billion a year just from Hobby Lobby. Over the course of three years, the Green family donated $2.3 billion to the National Christian Foundation. That’s over a third of one year’s income. 

While many students find this problematic, some students see nothing wrong with Hobby Lobby’s controversial spending. 

“It’s their money; they can do whatever they want with it… They made it,” said Jimmy Azanza, 12.

Although many think that it’s acceptable to spend their money on anything, if someone has the wealth to make a difference, they should make it a positive difference. It is crucial to be conscious of one’s actions and make sure that they do the most good they can with what they have, rather than spreading hate that will make them money.

“They know and they don’t care. They make money,” said Wunderlich.