Community Missions of Niagara Frontier Inc. will join with more than 3,400 organizations across the country in encouraging people to take collaborative action to give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support. The event will take place Dec. 3, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday looks to harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving - similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days synonymous with holiday shopping.
Community Missions, within the theme of its "The Gift of Giving ... The Joy of Receiving" Christmas program, will encourage people to support the agency in a number of ways on Dec. 3:
•Individuals (and businesses) are encouraged to make a tax-deductible financial contribution to the agency via its website, www.CommunityMissions.org.
•Individuals are encouraged to beat the end-of-year rush and donate clothes and household items, which are always welcome to be dropped off at the mission's main office at 1570 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls. Such donations are tax-deductible.
•Individuals are also encouraged to volunteer their time to help spread holiday cheer at Community Missions.
"We are very excited for this opportunity to band together with so many wonderful charitable organizations to encourage people to give back," said Christian Hoffman, communications and development manager at Community Missions. "The winter months are always the toughest for those in need, especially here in Western New York. This initiative comes at a perfect time for us, and with the holiday season in full swing, we think this can be a wonderful opportunity for people looking to give back to do so in a meaningful way."
Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving, a group of friends and partners, led by the 92nd Street Y in New York City, came together in 2012 to find ways to promote and celebrate the great American tradition of giving. The concept gained steam and, by bringing together a group of founding partners - including the United Nations Foundation, DonorsChoose.org, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Groupon - a nationwide series of discussions about how to make #GivingTuesday a success is already underway.
"#GivingTuesday is a counter narrative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, because it reminds us that the spirit of the holiday giving season should be about community and not just consumerism," said Kathy Calving, CEO of the UN Foundation. "The most meaningful gift we can give our children, loved ones, friends and neighbors is the commitment to work together to help build a better world."
Those interested in joining Community Missions' #GivingTuesday initiative can visit www.communitymissions.org/about/givingtuesday.html. For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), or follow #GivingTuesday (www.twitter.com/GivingTues) and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter.
In 2012, CMI provided more than 70,000 meals and more than 9,000 nights of care within its crisis services programs. Additional agency programs serve adults and youth with psychiatric disabilities, parolees, at-risk youth and other underserved populations in both residential and recovery-orientated settings. For more information on the services and programs provided by Community Missions, visit www.communitymissions.org or connect via Facebook or Twitter.