By CBJ News Staff
A day that is usually reserved for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is being recognized today to raise awareness to the needs surrounding the nonprofit sector during the COVID-19 pandemic through #GivingTuesdayNow, the Business Record reports.
Giving Tuesday began in 2012 and has expanded to a global campaign where people can contribute their time, donations or their voice to causes they care about. More than $511 million was donated online on Giving Tuesday 2019, with that number growing to more than $1.9 billion with “offline” contributions, such as time and money given to a cause.
An addition to this year’s already scheduled #Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1, 2020, #GivingTuesdayNow is meant to serve as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Community members are encouraged to donate supplies, give to local nonprofits, help small businesses by buying gift cards, or reach out to others in the community who may be isolated or need a hand.
“Nonprofit organizations are facing unprecedented challenges to meet the demand for their services and to sustain their organizations during this time,” said Michelle Beisker, senior vice president of development at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, in a release. “This day of giving provides a time for residents to show their support of their community.”
Among the many local initiatives or fundraising campaigns underway in the Corridor:
• The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation has announced that Toyota will match all gifts up to $25,000 to the foundation’s COVID-19 Disaster Response Fund, which was created in mid-March to provide rapid response grants.
• United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties has announced it will use today to thank frontline health care workers, raise funds to support its Community Disaster Relief Fund and partner with Iowa City’s Noon Rotary club to feed health care providers in the community, through the purchase of boxed lunches.
• The Food Bank of Iowa is working to raise money to support the growing demand for its food distribution programs. According to its #GivingTuesdayNowpage, it has already raised more than $15,000 as part of the campaign.
• Four Oaks is working to raise $23,000, the amount of additional expenses incurred each week to adequately provide for the nonprofit’s residents, their families and all those served by the organization. Expenses include materials and cleaning supplies, along with additional staff time.
• The Friends of the Marion Public Library and the Marion Independent School Foundation & Alumni Association are working to get books in the hands of Marion families, by raising funds for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library as part of #GivingTuesdayNow. Residents can also purchase a bookfor a Marion Independent School child from Amazon, for distribution during a grab-and-go lunch on May 28.
• Alliant Energy has announced it will donate $70,000 to community action programs (CAP) agencies in Iowa and Wisconsin as part of #GivingTuesdayNow. The donation will allow 21 CAP agencies in Iowa and Wisconsin to assist low-income individuals and families. The funds will help them with necessities, including food, bills, hygiene and medical expenses. In Iowa, the CAP agencies will also use the donation to launch a fundraising campaign.
For more details about #GivingTuesdayNow and a list of ideas and inspiration projects, visit now.givingtuesday.org. CBJ