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After several days’ worth of shopping during Black Friday, Small business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, citizens are now asked to give back. Giving Tuesday encourages volunteerism and donations to local charities. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers has this local perspective.
On a chilly Giving Tuesday in Springfield, Salvation Army Volunteers Lorraine and Andy Griffith proudly ring their bells outside Dillons on St. Louis and National Avenue, taking donations for the Red Kettle Program.
While they don’t expect to bring in $59 billion that retail businesses did over Thanksgiving weekend, they are happy to be a part of what the holiday season is all about.
“This is a very meaningful thing for Andy and me to do here we love it and the donations are up and that’s good,” said Lorraine.
“I would say about a third of the people who pass through today are donating. Some have it some don’t and those who have it I am glad they put it in,” said Andy.
Since this is only the second annual observance of Giving Tuesday, most didn’t know they were donating on such a special day. As popularity of the program grows, organizations around town hope that donations will grow along with it, explains Southwest Missouri Red Cross spokesperson, Neigel Holderby.
“For the actual amount that people give during this time, we are hoping that people will have a little more knowledge about what Giving Tuesday is. That is why we are taking such a strong online strategy to share the message of Giving Tuesday and what it is,” said Holderby.
According to Giving Tuesday’s website, for its first year, 2,500 organizations recognized the holiday and 50 million people worldwide spread the word online, helping increase donations for multiple fundraising sites by 50 percent.
“You just feel good, you know. I live a nice life but there are always people, no matter who you are, there are people who have less than you” said Mike Anderson.
That’s Mike Anderson, who was among many to offer his assistance to the Red Kettle program Tuesday, along with Navylin Hillman.
“I just think it is the right thing to do, knowing there are those in need and we have plenty. It is important to show her if we have extra it should go to someone who can use it,” said Hillman.
The effects of Giving Tuesday are seen predominantly through social media. #GivingTuesday is quickly becoming a top trend on Twitter, as well as its counterpart, #UNselfie.
For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers.