KAMLOOPS — Today is Giving Tuesday, which began in 2012 as a response to the consumerism which has become the norm during the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.
“Giving Tuesday was put forward as an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” United Way Thomson Nicola Cariboo Executive Director Danalee Baker explained. “It’s really a global day of giving.”
After you’ve spent money on yourself or on Christmas gifts for your family during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the idea is to use the following Tuesday to give back to your community, whether it’s by donating money to charity, or by volunteering your time.
“Whether you’re giving dollars or your time or some things you don’t need around your house anymore, it’s just really important for us to, as a community, be engaged and give back,” Baker said.
Within the Kamloops community, there are a number of organizations which take part in the Giving Tuesday movement, including the RIH Foundation, which helps our local hospital acquire new lifesaving equipment and offers training opportunities to local doctors.
“Being the only hospital, our community needs [RIH] to be strong and to be there when they need it most,” RIH Foundation Director of Donor Relations Alisa Coquet explained. “We offer such a wide range of services here, from the Emergency Department to our Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit… the list goes on.”
The TRU Foundation held their Day of Giving earlier this month, raising over $62,000 dollars in a 36 hour period, a significant portion of which goes to benefit students of the institution who may not have been able to access post-secondary education otherwise.
“Post-secondary education is a struggle, and even if you’re on a student loan it’s sometimes hard to work part-time,” TRU Foundation Director, Advancement Karen Gamracy explained. “We have single mothers trying to support while going back to school… it makes a huge difference.”
If you’re having a difficult time choosing where to give your time or money, Danalee Baker suggests considering what you're passionate about and looking around your community for a cause that matches that passion.
“It’s really important to give back to what you’re passionate about,” Baker said. “So your dollars are going from your heart to that organization, and you give time and you feel a real connection. That’s where giving really becomes meaningful.”
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