KENT COUNTY, Mich. — The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed "Giving Tuesday" since 2012. It's a day set aside to do good, give and celebrate generosity.
Amid the pandemic, the annual event is more important than ever.
"Michigan nonprofits have been on the front lines, since the beginning of the pandemic " explained Joan Gustafson, External Affairs Officer, with the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). "And, they are providing these, you know, essential services and more to the most vulnerable of our communities, while at the same time trying to stay afloat themselves with the same challenges as many businesses."
Gustafson said non-profits have been forced to cancel major fundraisers, while also revamping operations to keep up with safety protocols. At the same time, the need is greater than ever.
"If you check the 211 dashboard, which reports that calls of people in need, it's showing right now that food and shelter are the highest on the list," she said. "People are really struggling right now with with the basic needs to keep going."
This #GivingTuesday, the hope is that many will give generously to help non-profits continue the important work of helping others.
"During high times of demand like we're seeing now, this type of event, Giving Tuesday, gives everybody the opportunity to make sure that nonprofits that are helping communities, make it through the tough time," she told FOX 17 News. "For those of us that have not suffered as much as some of our fellow Michiganders, it's an opportunity for us to feel good and to give something back."
If you don't know where to start, Gustafson suggests checking out the directory on the MNA website.
"There, you can search by county and mission. So whatever it is that you feel is the biggest need in your community, or where you want to contribute. You can find very well deserving organization that could really use your help."