After a week of giving thanks and shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, people now are invited to take part in GivingTuesday.
According to its website, GivingTuesday is a growing global generosity movement that drives giving and collective action in communities around the world.
The event was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, the website said the idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
“As a global movement, GivingTuesday is a way to draw people together for a worthwhile cause. It encourages us, in the midst of holiday shopping, to consider supporting organizations who are doing good in our own community and beyond. We take donations at any time, but it feels good to come together on a specific date to be a part of a world-wide mission of generosity,” Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland Director of Communications and Marketing Jaime Thomas said.
Thomas noted this is their first year with a focused GivingTuesday campaign, so they’re hoping to see a lot of participation throughout the 42 counties they serve.
To donate to Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, go to feedingamericaky.org.
“Donations of any amount make a huge difference in providing food to those dealing with food insecurity. We couldn’t do what we do without the help of people who support Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland. Just $25 a month provides enough food for 200 meals to families in need, but even $5 or $10 makes a big impact,” Thomas said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for our services by 20 percent, and more and more families are relying on us to help keep them fed.”
From March through October, Thomas said they’ve distributed more than 12 million pounds of food — equal to more than 10 million meals.
“That shows that the need is greater than ever, and the more support we can have on days like GivingTuesday, the more food we can provide to families in need of food assistance,” she said. “People literally have to choose between staying warm or eating. Often food is the first necessity to be sacrificed. We want to make sure no one goes to bed hungry in our service area.”
United Way of Central Kentucky Communications and Events Manager Hunter Roberts said this GivingTuesday is more important than ever. She said United Way of Central Kentucky has always bridged the gap for children and families in the community who need support in various capacities, such as financial stability, education, health and basic needs. This year, she said the need for basic items — such as food, utilities, clothing items, and a warm place to live — is up by 30 percent.
“Our funded partners are working tremendously hard to meet these needs with us, but we need more money from the community to cover the cost of the increased needs our neighbors have,” she said.
Anyone who is interested in donating to United Way of Central Kentucky can go to unitedwayck.org.
Roberts said they’ve also recently introduced Roundups for this holiday season. She said Roundups allow your loose change from any purchase made on your registered debit or credit card to be contributed directly to United Way of Central Kentucky.
For example, she said if you buy a cup of coffee for $3.70, 30 cents will be donated.
“You can set monthly limits for your roundup spending as well, as we know many people are needing to budget this year especially,” she said. “At the end of the month, you receive an email asking if you would like your total amount to be submitted to UWCK, so if you’d like to save your money that month — it is not automatically withdrawn without your approval.”
To learn more about Roundups, check out https://bit.ly/3fUUPy8
Central Kentucky Community Foundation President and CEO Davette Swiney said GivingTuesday “is a chance to bring a focus to giving during the holiday season.”
“In the midst of all the shopping, it is a reminder of the importance of giving,” she said. “GivingTuesday is a movement, but the specifics are unique to each nonprofit organization who participates.
They decide how they want to fundraise and how those dollars are used to further their efforts and mission. Much like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday campaigns and sales vary from business to business, GivingTuesday efforts vary from organization to organization.”
This year, Swiney said everyone has an additional incentive to give. The Universal Charitable Deduction, which allows everyone, even people who don’t itemize on their taxes, to deduct up to the first $300 that they donate to nonprofits in 2020.
United Way of Central Kentucky and Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland are just two of the several organizations in the local community people can donate to.
Swiney said there is no universal place to go to give on GivingTuesday. She said many of the local organizations are participating with various giving strategies shared with donors through email, social media and direct mail campaigns.
She said Central Kentucky Community Foundation continues to accept gifts to their Central Kentucky Cares Fund to aid people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know the needs continue and have changed as the pandemic affects jobs and personal finances,” she said.
Swiney said gifts to the fund can be made online at https://bit.ly/2JoQyXBor at 200 Jim Owen Drive, Elizabethtown.
In addition to donating, the Giving Tuesday website said people can show their generosity in a variety of ways during the day. Whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or finding virtual volunteer opportunities with their favorite causes — everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts.