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).
Locally, the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program 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.
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 anytime, 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, 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.
Local organizations listed in the #NYGIVESDAY website, which will tally donation amounts throughout the day on Nov. 28, include Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County, EARS, Saving Grace Outreach in Cattaraugus County and the Blout Library in Franklinville.
More than two dozen other organizations — most of which are based in the Olean area — in Cattaraugus County are also featured on the website. Among those more county-based include CRCF, the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, Meals on Wheels of Cattaraugus County, Cattaraugus County Suicide Prevention Coalition, United Way of Cattaraugus County and Council on Addiction Recovery Services.
Taking the day even a step further, CRCF is leading the first-ever giving day in Cattaraugus County, Cattaraugus Gives, on #GivingTuesday.