Many people may be out shopping for Black Friday deals — or taking a nap after being up so early — but a national movement aims to focus on helping others in need on Giving Tuesday.
The holiday shopping season kicks off with Black Friday, followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Now in its fourth year, the Giving Tuesday website states the day’s purpose is “to celebrate generosity and to give.” Several local organizations are taking part in the #GivingTuesday campaign to encourage people to give a little back to the community.
“It’s an opportunity for folks once they’ve been through Black Friday and Cyber Monday and spent probably a great deal for gifts, Giving Tuesday is a way to look at the holiday season as a time to give to organizations, particularly nonprofits who give to your community,” said Kimberly Allen, Executive Director of Child Safe of Central Missouri Inc. “It’s a way to give back to the community, help those organizations that are helping perhaps some of our most vulnerable citizens. It’s a time to stop thinking about buying so much for ourselves and think about how we can make a bigger impact.”
Child Safe has taken to Facebook to promote #GivingTuesday and how the organization impacts the community. Members of its Multi-Disciplinary Team, such as law enforcement officers, prosecutors, mental health providers and children’s health workers, were asked to write down why they support Child Safe.
“We asked them what Child Safe meant to them and why they support Child Safe. It was so incredible, we called it our unselfie campaign. We asked people to take a selfie for an unselfish reason,” Allen said. “… It’s been incredibly rewarding and we feel like because of the shares on Facebook that more people know about Child Safe and that’s a good thing because if we can help one person know a little bit about us, help one child who is a victim of abuse, then we feel like this has been an incredible campaign.”
For the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri, every little bit helps when it comes to donations, said Communications Coordinator Emily Jarrett.
“A small gift can make a huge impact for a kid,” she said. “$10 pays for a membership for a year for a child. We understand not everyone can give a big end of the year Christmas donation. Every little bit goes to helping the 1,100 kids we serve each year.”
Those interested in donating to the Club can donate to the general operating fund, which goes toward everything from art supplies to salaries to building maintenance, or the Say YES Fund, which provides scholarships for students to attend the Club. Jarrett said there’s another fund they focus on during the holiday season.
“We also have the unmet needs fund, which is a fund we really like to promote this time of year. Some of our members and their families may have needs that they need help with,” she said. “We’ve given away winter coats and backpacks, pairs of shoes. Our site managers keep an eye on different kids and let us know, this kid has a torn coat that doesn’t really fit and I don’t think his family can afford a new one.”
To support Child Safe, Allen said people can “like” the organization on Facebook, donate on childsafehouse.org, contribute to a wish list of items Child Safe is always in need of, or they can contact them at [email protected] to find out more about volunteering.
Those who participate are encouraged to use #GivingTuesday on social media. For more information about Giving Tuesday, visit www.GivingTuesday.org.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.