MEDICINE HAT, AB -- Black Friday and Cyber Monday are officially over, and now a new campaign has begun.
“I think Giving Tuesday is a really great opportunity for people to just say you know what I’m gonna give any way that I can,” says Helene Nicholson, philanthropy director with the YMCA.
Giving Tuesday is a Global one day event to encourage volunteering and giving back to the community.
Multiple Medicine Hat charities are participating.
“So this year at the college were doing a featured project,” says Jenna Williams, community relations officer with the Medicine Hat College. “That project is the Medicine Hat College booster club endowment campaign.”
The college is asking for donations for their Booster Club, which helps student athletes with scholarships, program enhancements and general support.
The college has taken part in Giving Tuesday in the past, but decided to amp it up in 2018, mainly because the campaign has grown exponentially in the last few years.
Now in its sixth year, Giving Tuesday has more than 6500 partner organizations and more than 40 community movements in cities and towns across the country.
“For Black Friday people are out going and buying Christmas gifts for everyone in their family and for themselves,” says Deborah Northcott, founder of Canadian Humanitarian. “So it’s a movement to try and make people look outwards and look at those around that might not have the same kind of experience at Christmas as they will have.”
Canadian Humanitarian is North America wide charity that got its start in Medicine Hat, which has been participating in Giving Tuesday for the past five years.
They try out a different campaign every year, and the results have never been disappointing.
“We’re asking people if they would like to share 30 dollars to help a child have a new set of clothes or to have a holiday feast with their family,” says Northcott. “So that’s our push for this season to try and help out kids in Ethiopia and Malawi have a Christmas season.”
In 2017 they managed to raise $100,000 between Giving Tuesday and the end of the year.
In 2018 they hope to surpass that, and aim to raise $10,000 on the one day alone.
After witnessing the successes of other charities, the local YMCA decided to get involved as well.
“We are kind of really just kicking up our Strong Kids Campaign,” says Nicholson. “So the proceeds from giving Tuesday will be an initiation into the Strong Kids Campaign.”
The Strong Kids Campaign sponsors local children who can’t afford the YMCA’s services, and allows them to get into the centre for free, go to camps, and access all of their programs.
The YMCA says people often forget they’re actually a charity that depends on donations, so the awareness from being involved in Giving Tuesday is just as important as the money.
“Every dollar makes a difference so we are happy with everything that we achieve for this day,” says Nicholson. “Sometimes even it’s just about information and awareness about the Y and what we do.”
Giving Tuesday’s website say the day isn’t only about donations, it’s about helping others in any way you can. However, it doesn’t have to stop after the 24 hours is up.
“Those of us that have things that we can give to others,” says Northcott. ”I think it’s important that we not forget to share, so it’s a good sharing time of year.”
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