Coast nonprofits talk impacts of Giving Tuesday
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - This year marked the tenth annual Giving Tuesday.
Founded in 2012, it’s an international day devoted to giving what you can to your favorite charitable organization.
According to financial expert Gregory Ricks out of Gulfport, more than 30 million people participated last year and raised about $2.7 billion for charities worldwide.
However, inflation and tough economic conditions set the stage this year.
“Charities more than ever need some help,” Ricks told WLOX.
One example of a group you could help on the Coast is the Southeast Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross.
“Especially now, the number of major disasters has continued to grow each year,” Executive Director John McFarland said.
McFarland explains for instance, Hurricane Ian is named “Disaster Response 83623.”
That indicates the fiscal year 2023 and that it’s the 826th major disaster since July.
“All of the expenses that we incurred for that disaster are charged to that number,” he said. “And all the money that comes in designated to that disaster goes there.”
Or maybe you’re an animal lover and would like to help the Humane Society of South Mississippi.
“Over pet population has spiked in the upwards trend. And so, this year, giving the gift of adoption would be the ultimate way to give back,” CEO Lori West said.
The Humane Society spends over $250,000 each year to provide care to sick and injured animals that show up at the shelter.
This year, donations they receive will go toward that fund.
“If you can’t give monetarily, you can always give the gift of your time and come volunteer at the shelter to help walk dogs, socialize cats, pass out treats and toys,” development director Katie King said.
Gulfport resident Phyllis Beard stopped by Tuesday to donate towels, blankets, dog and cat food, newspapers and boxes, but it’s something she does almost every three months.
“These animals didn’t ask to be born. They depend on us to take care of them,” she said. “They have nobody else to stand up for them, so that’s why I try to do what I can.”
The first step to Giving Tuesday is to choose a cause that you are most passionate about.
Financial experts say it is important to verify the organization you choose is in fact a 501(c)(3), meaning it is a true charity and your dollars are tax deductible.
If you send a check, make sure the organization cashes it immediately or at least by the end of the year.
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