Community Organizations Encourage Giving along with Spending, During Holidays

Kira Mercado Data News Weekly Contributor

Giving Tuesday 2020 has new meaning for charitable organizations working to sustain their community efforts during the Pandemic. The day is designated for global generosity calling for kindness and unity, and is a day set aside for people nationwide to donate to nonprofit organizations. This nationwide act of charitable service will take place this year on Dec. 1, 2020. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 in New York City in the Bethel Center for Innovation and Social Impact. Since then, Giving Tuesdays has grown with over 200 leaders who have launched community campaigns across the U.S. and national movements in more than 60 countries.

Giving Tuesday in 2019 generated over $2 billion dollars in donations in the U.S. With Americans spending millions of dollars over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays on gifts and other items for their loved ones, non-profits aim to encourage citizens to also support the work of their local non-profits and community organizations.

“People spend money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday like running water. So, we’re going to do a campaign to raise money on the following Tuesday,” said Kimberly Woodard, the Director of Development at Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana has supported families of severely ill or injured children while they receive their critical treatment. Due to COVID-19, volunteers are unable to cook in the house kitchen due to safety protocols. During Giving Tuesday, the organization will encourage residents to contribute to the Meals from the Heart Program. The organization welcomes individuals or groups that can sponsor meals for families during their stay in the city for long-term medical care for their children, Woodard said.

Additionally, as a result of the Pandemic, the Ronald McDonald House has a shortage on the number of families they could house in the “Comforts of Home” Program dedicated to bringing a “homey” environment to the hospital. The foundation has created comfort bags filled with gift cards, blankets, books, toiletries, and other selected items and deliver it to the hospital for social workers to distribute.

In 2019, there were a total of 480 families from 42 different Louisiana parishes, 13 other states, and four foreign countries that stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in New Orleans. The average stay was seven nights at a cost equivalent to $750,000 in hotel stays. The community can support charitable work over the holidays by donating to a wide range of organizations supporting families at 225gives.org, Woodard said.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana has supported families of severely ill or injured children while they receive their critical treatment. In 2019, there were a total of 480 families from 42 different Louisiana parishes, 13 other states, and four foreign countries that stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in New Orleans.

Kimberly Woodard, Director of Development at Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana.

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