Niagara Falls has proclaimed Dec. 3, 2013, as #GivingTuesday - Niagara Falls' Day of Giving. The proclamation was made by Mayor Paul Dyster Tuesday afternoon, as he was joined at City Hall by representatives from Community Missions of Niagara Frontier Inc. and Niagara University, two local organizations taking part in the #GivingTuesday initiative.
#GivingTuesday is a first-of-its-kind effort that looks to harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners - charities, families, businesses and individuals - to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday, the movement seeks 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.
Niagara University and Community Missions represent the lone organizations based in Niagara County planning to participate in the initiative, joining more than 7,250 partners nationwide.
Community Missions, within the theme of its "The Gift of Giving ... The Joy of Receiving" Christmas program, is encouraging people to support the agency in a number of ways on Tuesday, 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 always tax-deductible.
•Individuals are also encouraged to volunteer their time to help spread holiday cheer at the mission.
"#GivingTuesday is a fantastic initiative in encouraging people to give back," said Christian Hoffman, communications and development manager of Community Missions. "Already, we have been so encouraged by the people wanting to support the mission in some way. We look forward to seeing the tremendous generosity of the people of Western New York once again on #GivingTuesday."
Those interested in joining Community Missions' #GivingTuesday initiative can visit www.communitymissions.org/about/givingtuesday.html.
Meanwhile, Niagara University representatives will be collecting monetary donations and nonperishable goods at several locations throughout the Buffalo-Niagara region. Proceeds will benefit a variety of local nonprofit organizations.
•All day - Stop by the Gallagher Center for a variety of #GivingTuesday activities. Drop off your nonperishable goods, purchase a Christmas ornament from NUSGA, and grab some hot cocoa.
•7:30-10 a.m. | Coffee Culture (50 Fountain Plaza)
•11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | Hyatt Atrium (2 Fountain Plaza) - lunch and casual networking
•5-8 p.m. | Fat Bob's Smokehouse (41 Virginia Place) - Wear an ugly Christmas sweater to be entered into a contest for a Fat Bob's gift certificate and T-shirt. Drink and food specials will be provided until 8 p.m.
•11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | Sean Patrick's Restaurant (3480 Millersport Highway)
•7:30-10 a.m. | Orange Cat Coffee (703 Center St.)
•5-8 p.m. | Lewiston Stone House (755 Center St.) - Most festive outfit of the evening will win a gift certificate to the Lewiston Stone House. Drink specials and light refreshments will be provided until 8 p.m.
•8-11 a.m. | DiCamillo Bakery (7927 Niagara Falls Blvd.)
•All day - Community Missions of Niagara Frontier (1570 Buffalo Ave.)
•6:30-9 a.m. | Bailly's Food Mart (3821 Lockport Road)
•7:30-10 a.m. | DiCamillo Bakery (5329 Main St.)
"This is another great way for Niagara University to fulfill our mission as a Catholic and Vincentian institution of higher learning," said Jaclyn R. Rossi, '08, M.S.Ed.'10, NU's associate director for leadership giving. "With such an emphasis being placed on shopping during the holiday season, we want to make sure that people are also presented with an opportunity to offer some of their money in a more humane manner - by supporting those in need."
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."
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.