Giving Tuesday helps local causes

Giving Tuesday helps local causes
December 10
00:00 2015
WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson
By Todd Luck
The Chronicle

Money to help those in need, scholarship funds for college students and computers for young students are just some of the local successes coming out of this year’s Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which this year was Dec. 1, and is a social media initiative started in 2012 by 92nd Street Y, a non-profit cultural center in New York City, as a way to encourage giving  after the shopping rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. estimates that globally over 1 million donations were given on Tuesday, totaling $116.7 million. The hashtag #givingtuesday had 1.3 million mentions on social media.

Winston-Salem State University participated as did nonprofits as varied as well as the North Carolina NAACP, Democracy North Carolina, Carolina Public Press, American Lung Association and New Winston Museum all had a push to get donations on Giving Tuesday. The Winston-Salem Salvation Army Commander Major James Alison got more than $10,000 in kettle donations. Bell ringers with red Salvation Army kettles positioned at the entrances of major stores like Walmart or at the entrance of Hanes Mall are a signature fundraiser for the organization during the holiday shopping season. He said he was grateful that Giving Tuesday provided an extra boost to the Salvation Army’s fundraising efforts.

“Black Friday, Cyber Monday you’re buying for family and friends,” he said. “On giving Tuesday it gives you the opportunity to share your resources with those who find themselves in need, whose life and whose situation is not as good as yours.”

It was the Shalom Project’s first year participating in Giving Tuesday, giving it a big push on its Facebook page. The non-profit located at Green Street United Methodist Church provides services to help those in need like a clothing closet, free medical clinic and food pantry. Shalom Project Executive Director Lynn Brown said that they’d gotten several online donations and $4,500 through the mail as of last Thursday.

“I think it’s a terrific concept and probably will continue to grow in popularity, but I think it’s still probably in the incubation phase in terms of people really being aware of it and finding ways to participate in it,” he said.

He said he estimates the Shalom Project may be able to raise at least $10,000 during its year-end fundraising. He said a combination of the giving spirit of the season and taxpayers wanting tax write-offs for the year make December the perfect month for non-profits to raise money.

The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville, which serves the elderly and disabled, also kicked off its yearend campaign with Giving Tuesday, raising $6,000.

“While only reaching $6,000 of the $15,000 goal for GivingTuesday, the day was a great way to kick off The Shepherd’s Center’s Year End campaign,” said Shepherd Center Executive Director Ruth Woosley.

While some used Giving Tuesday for general fundraising, others like El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services, used it for specific projects. El Buen Pastor raised $3,600 to buy six laptops and a printer to be used by the 25 middle and high school students in its tutoring program.

Other organizations saw a tremendous increase in what they raised over last year’s Giving Tuesday.  Experiment in Self Reliance, which provides a variety of services to help the economically disadvantaged, raised $1,784 and collected five non-perishable food items last year on Giving Tuesday. This year ESR raised $5,300 and collected 57 non-perishable food items.

Winston-Salem State University saw a five fold increase for it’s Giving Tuesday campaign, “Put a Bow on it,” surpassing its goal of $20,000. WSSU had 564 donors give $35,100 that will go to scholarships at the university.

“WSSU supporters stepped up in a major way,” said  WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson in a news release. “Their generosity demonstrates to students how much we care about their success. I’m so pleased we were able to far exceed our goal. These gifts enable some deserving WSSU students to complete their education and begin contributing in important ways to our society.”

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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