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HomeNewsLocal newsWith Big Shopping Days Behind Us, Tuesday’s the Time to Give Back

With Big Shopping Days Behind Us, Tuesday’s the Time to Give Back

GivingTuesday, held each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, seeks to transform the world through “radical generosity.” (Image courtesy GivingTuesday.org)

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday — there’s no end to the enticements to spend, splurge and consume as the holiday season gets underway. Enter GivingTuesday, which offers an opportunity to stop, reflect and, as the name suggests, give back to the community in a meaningful way.

Billed as a way to transform the world through “radical generosity,” GivingTuesday — held each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — was created in 2012 “as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good,” according to the givingtuesday.org website.

The concept was “born and incubated” at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact in New York City and today is a global movement that strives to inspire people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.

People need not be rich to participate, the organization stresses. “Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor out, or showing up for an issue or people we care about, we each have something to contribute,” it notes. Additionally, sharing your good deeds on social media is encouraged because “sharing inspires others, turning a ripple into a tidal wave of good.”

Locally, several nonprofits are appealing to community members to remember them on GivingTuesday, including the Women’s Center of St. Croix, which will hold its annual meeting and open house on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at its new community conference center at 7 East St. in Christiansted.

“In an increasingly divided world, GivingTuesday represents a new global ritual based in joy and hope, proving that acts of kindness and goodwill go beyond country, ethnicity, religion, political ideals and create connections between people. GivingTuesday isn’t just about fundraising, it’s communities banding together and giving of their time, power, skills, expertise and resources,” Women’s Center Executive Director Clema Lewis said in a statement promoting the day.

“With your investment in peace, we believe it’s possible to make a difference in the lives of people impacted by violence, one person at a time,” said Lewis, noting the Women’s Center helps survivors of violence, domestic and otherwise, every day of the year. To learn more, visit the website.

The Humane Society of St. Thomas, which provides shelter, food, medical care, and love to hundreds of animals that pass through its doors each year, has the opportunity for a $20,000 matching donation on GivingTuesday.

All donations on Tuesday will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000, by Red Hook Agencies Inc. and Caribbean Packaging, the nonprofit said in its appeal for donors.

The shelter is always in need of non-monetary help, too, from walking dogs and socializing cats to helping with laundry or volunteering as an animal care attendant. New volunteer orientation is held for adults and children ages 13 and older on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. To learn more and to register as a volunteer, visit the website and fill out an application form.

My Brother’s Workshop — dedicated to providing mentorship, mental health counseling, education, on-the-job training, and job placement to at-risk and high-risk youth ages 16 to 24 — has a goal of raising $140,000 on GivingTuesday.

All donations to MBW on Tuesday will be matched, up to $25,600, by the Sheehan family ($10,000), Keswick Insurance ($10,000), and 183 Media ($5,600), the organization said in a press release announcing the initiative.

It is through community support that MBW has raised the funds for Phase 1 of its Main Campus on Donoe Bypass, behind the Home Depot on St. Thomas, the release noted. The project broke ground in December 2021 and, when complete, will offer culinary arts, catering services, customer service training, online schooling for high schoolers, anger management classes, offices, a welcome center, classrooms, and individual counseling at the 10,000-square-foot Stephenson Family Welcome Center, among other services.

To learn more about the GivingTuesday campaign, visit the MBW website and its Hope for the Holidays website.

MBW will host a thank you reception at the main campus site on Tuesday, and all are invited to stop by to see the construction progress and to celebrate with a prosecco toast at 6:30 p.m., the release stated. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided by MBW Cafe and Bakery.

GivingTuesday also is an opportunity to help the St. George Village Botanical Gardens on St. Croix to thrive and grow, the organization said in a press release. Founded in 1972, the gardens span 16 acres among the ruins of an 18th and 19th-century sugar cane plantation. According to its website, the SGVBG property also overlaps what was once an Amerindian settlement dating back to 100 AD.

An important cultural resource, the gardens’ botanical collection features more than 1,000 varieties of plants that “demonstrate the horticultural potential for the U.S. Virgin Islands. They emphasize the cultural and historical importance plants have been as a source of food, medicine, fiber, color dyes, and building material in the Caribbean,” the website notes.

Besides monetary donations, the St. George Village Botanical Gardens also offers myriad volunteer opportunities. Visit the website to learn more.

Also on St. Croix, Project Promise is appealing for donations to reach its goal of $12,000 to help fund its new Empowered Me program, through which donors may sponsor a child.

The non-profit, incorporated in 2014, is dedicated to giving at-risk youth the tools and support they need to live healthier lives, whether through life coaching to academic tutoring to culture programs and community service, as well as family services. Visit the website to learn more.

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