CENTRAL ALBERTA GIVES - Mayor Tara Veer stands with members of various organizations in Central Alberta who have taken part or who are taking part in Giving Tuesday. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

‘Giving Tuesday’ campaign kicks off

Red Deerians encouraged to participate Nov. 28th via Central Alberta Gives

Non-profit organizations in Central Alberta come together each year to promote philanthropy, volunteerism and charitable causes on a day known in an international movement known as Giving Tuesday.

On Nov. 6th at Family Services of Central Alberta, Mayor Tara Veer read a proclamation declaring the event in the community of Red Deer.

“It’s great on behalf of council and our community to see representatives from so many of our local charities and not-for-profits that we are encouraging our community to participate in support of for Giving Tuesday,” said Veer.

Giving Tuesday is being recognized officially in Red Deer on Nov. 28th by Central Alberta Gives.

Central Alberta Gives is a group of local-non-profits who come together to encourage all Canadians to join the movement, give and volunteer for charities of their choice.

Pam Snowden of Volunteer Central said Giving Tuesday is an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the giving that happens at that time of year.

“It’s just a little reminder that when we are opening our wallets or when we’re spending time to think about all the causes and charities in the community that would benefit from giving,” she said.

New this year is a media challenge, where members of the media are encouraged to participate by having a friendly challenge posting unselfies, which are a play on the words unselfish and selfie, and are a unique tool to share on social media to bring awareness to Giving Tuesday.

Snowden said the event last year went very well, which saw many organizations taking part.

“We all come together once a year under this umbrella called Central Alberta Gives. There’s many organizations that are involved that we all partner at this time of year to spread the message,” she said.

Charllotte Adkens-Weiler, director of development, marketing and communications for Central and Southern Alberta Ronald McDonald House said they’ve participated in the event for a couple of years in Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton.

“It’s really good for us because Christmas is coming, so it’s a great time to get the shout out to let people know that we’re looking for toys for our children so they can wake up with a santa sack in the morning on Christmas Day,” she said.

She added it’s also important for volunteers.

“We have something we call Home for Dinner. If you want to just come and give us a couple hours of your time, come and bake a home, nutritious meal for our families.”

They also get out on social media and put on their facebook page some of the families that have helped so people can see directly where they’re making the difference.

Shannon Humphrey, volunteer and communications coordinator at Habitat for Humanity discussed what they are doing this year.

“I think the biggest message we want to get across to the people who support us in the community is there’s more than one way to give,” she said.

Often times, she said, people think about money, cheques or sponsorship when they think about giving.

“We realize there are tons of ways for people to give. We’re pushing the message that there’s other ways to get involved, so you can volunteer your time, you can give your expertise. We have an opening on our board of directors, we have committees that people could join,” she said, adding the other part of it is building materials and donations needed to the Re-Store.

They take everything from drywall, mudding or paint within the re-store and furniture.

For more information on the event visit givingtuesday.ca.

carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

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