#GivingTuesday shifts focus from shopping to helping others

#GivingTuesday: From spending big to giving back

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - After five days of intensive holiday shopping this became a day to focus instead on giving. That’s the whole idea behind #GivingTuesday, the 7th annual global day devoted to charity.

Organizers describe it as a way for millions of people from dozens of countries to share the common goal of caring for one another.

Major Ray Morton with the Salvation Army of Shreveport agreed with that description on a local level, as well.

“It’s just an opportunity to recognize that there are people in need. And so you can pick your favorite charity and just give back to them on this Tuesday,” started Morton.

“After all the shopping and all the taking care of your friends and your family it’s kind of a nod towards let’s take care of those who are less fortunate.”

Major Morton told us the Salvation Army helps more than 200 people every single day in Shreveport.

And with kettle donations down nationally and here at home in recent years, Morton said events like Giving Tuesday can only help.

“When you put in the bucket you’re helping people that are in need, people at our shelter, people who are homeless, people who are hungry. We’ve got our youth at our boys and girls clubs. So, you’re helping a lot of different programs that go back straight into this community.”

The Salvation Army is far from alone in their efforts to help people in their time of need. So too does the United Way of Northwest Louisiana.

In fact, President and C.E.O. Dr. Bruce Willson, Jr., explained they have big plans of their own for money raised on this Giving Tuesday.

Dr. Willson said those funds will be used for the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library; a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five.

“We’ve got data that shows that kids that are in this program, they are scoring 15 percent higher as they come into kindergarten than kids that have not been part of this program.”

Willson said all they need is $1,200 to enroll 40 kids in our area this time around.

As for the movement's rapid growth the magazine The Chronicles of Philanthropy described how much it has increased so far.

It stated that the very first observance of Giving Tuesday in 2012 generated $10 million for charities and non-profit organizations.

By 2017 that figure had jumped to more than $300 million.

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