By Darren Lum
Published Nov. 27 2018
During the time of year when many people are buying gifts the Giving Tuesday global movement is bringing attention to donating and volunteering.
The GivingTuesday.ca website features information on how to donate and get involved.
The one-stop shop for all the generous work performed by charitable organizations provides a service to online searchers who may be interested in helping and giving back rather than spending.
It’s not only about donations. The public is encouraged to share what they’re doing to help with CanadaHelps.org. Named charities have a chance to win $2500.
Giving Tuesday was started in the U.S. in 2012 as a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“After the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday GivingTuesday is a time to celebrate and encourage activities that support charities and non-profits” the website reads.
Registered partners are posting to social media about Giving Tuesday and sending out messages and challenges using the hashtag #GivingTuesdayCa.
One local partner is the Haliburton County Public Library.
CEO Bessie Sullivan welcomed the opportunity to join three years ago and has promoted Giving Tuesday on social media. She said people can consider donating the amount they’ve saved on discounted sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Although the library doesn’t have a donate button through the Giving Tuesday website it does accept donations for programs such as the Community of Making which requires funding beyond the library system’s regular budget to sustain the program past next year. The Friends of the Haliburton County Public Library raises impressive sums for the library however additional donations can help with projects not covered by the group.
Other local organizations participating include SIRCH Community Services Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary Medeba and the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust.
The land trust’s Mary-Lou Gerstl said Giving Tuesday raises the profile of organizations like hers.
“It’s another little way hopefully of raising funds for the land trust” she said.
The organization learned about the initiative through the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The land trust isn’t holding a specific event for Giving Tuesday but has an open house scheduled on Dec. 6 at their office building they share with Canoe FM at 739 Mountain St. Haliburton. It starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The Enviro-Hero Awards which recognize those who work to benefit the community environmentally or socially will be announced at 2 p.m.
Charities and not-for-profits can always use a boost Gerstl said.
“Sometimes people aren’t aware of them all … It’s not just the land trust. There are so many great organizations out there. The more people know the better it is” she said.
The initiative appealed to her because it helps extend the reach of the land trust to those outside Haliburton County.
“Global reach is what you’re looking for” she said. “If anybody is interested in the environment and protecting the land so then hopefully they’ll see our names and get something from it. Getting our name out there is what we strive to do as well.”
As the GivingTuesday.ca website says: “Giving is a lifelong commitment and a giving day is a special celebration a reminder to all of us to think of others and our communities as well as ourselves. The most successful GivingTuesday campaigns are planned and launched weeks before the actual day and many last until the end of December. Of course we also encourage giving back throughout the year whether through donations volunteering or in whatever other ways we can. GivingTuesday is more than a moment it’s a movement.”