By Rich Place
On Thanksgiving, Americans have the opportunity to give thanks for what they have. Five days later, they have the opportunity to give financially to help during the holiday season and give to organizations in need.
Now in its sixth year, Giving Tuesday — and perhaps better recognized by its social media hashtag, #givingtuesday — kicks off the charitable season by advocating for giving and philanthropy to many organizations on both the national and local level.
In New York state, the charitable effort has been taken a step further with #NYGIVESDAY, which last year raised over $11 million across New York state, according to a press release from the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation (CRCF).
In the Springville area, two local organizations — Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation and Love INC (In the Name of Christ) of Springville — are listed on the #givingtuesday website, givingtuesday.org.
Locally in the area, Wild Spirit Education, Inc. of Delevan and Healthy Community Alliance of Gowanda are officially registered on the #NYGIVESDAY website, nygivesday.org.
Of course, the desire to give to a local nonprofit doesn’t have to be one specifically registered on the #givingtuesday or #NYGIVESDAY website, with dozens of groups across the Springville area willingly accepting donations on Nov. 28 or anytime throughout the year.
A bit outside south, the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program in Ellicottville is among those listed on the #givingtuesday website. The group announced last week it has set a #givingtuesday goal of $5,000 to be used to purchase special adaptive ski equipment, sponsor scholarships for disadvantaged students and to fund volunteer training and certification programs.
“LASP hopes that the positive effects of skiing will carry over and give confidence to various other areas in the individual’s life,” said Mary Ellen Racich, director of the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program.
Those who are interested in joining Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program’s #GiveAdaptiveSports campaign can visit giveadaptivesports.mydagsite.com.
Also in Cattaraugus County, Citizens Advocation Memorial Preservation (CAMP), a group dedicated to preserving the Cattaraugus County Memorial Building in Little Valley, also announced it is participating in both #givingtuesday and #NYGIVESDAY on Nov. 28.
The group recently acquired the former county museum building across from the county center in Little Valley. To donate any time, including on #givingtuesday, visit cattcomemorial.com/donate.
Many groups are getting creative with their donation opportunities. Empire Animal Rescue Society (EARS), a local animal rescue group out of Salamanca with a reach across Western New York, allows participants to upload a photo of the donor or their animals to show support for their cause. Donors can visit givinggrid.com/axlehv to donate anytime, not necessarily on #GivingTuesday.
A quick search on www.givingtuesday.org gives numerous other results of organizations in Erie County, including the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc., Buffalo Zoo, Burchfield Penney Art Center and many more. Visit the website for more ideas of ways you can give back this holiday season.