#GivingTuesday seeks to make difference for charities

Kyla Smith
The Detroit News

Local charities banked on the help of social media Tuesday to help boost their donation numbers for the holiday season.

In its fifth year, #GivingTuesday, which is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving across the country, has spread the message of giving while connecting people with local charities. It’s a movement that encourages people to donate to their favorite charities and be social about it.

While the Salvation Army has benefited from #GivingTuesday with an increase of donations in clothing, its kettle donations are down this year, officials say.

“The use of social media has really helped us a lot but our Red Kettle numbers are pinched because most people don’t carry cash anymore,” said Major Russ Sjogren, Salvation Army Metro Detroit Commander. “We are grateful for #GivingTuesday because it gets you in giving spirit and makes people want to do the most good.”

On average, the Salvation Army receives 260 donations per day, but as of noon Tuesday, it had received 150 donations. It hoped to surpass an average Tuesday, said Andrea Kenski, Salvation Army spokeswoman.

To help promote #GivingTuesday, United Way is asking volunteers, donors and advocates to take ‘(un) selfies” on social media networks to share their community efforts by using the hashtag #GiveUnited.

Thrift stores such as Value World are also seeing an increase in donations.

“We usually get donations every day, but today it was a lot more than usual,” said Angelina Rutkowski, manager of Value World in Detroit. “We had more clothing than housing items come in; but around this time, it always picks up.”

As the holiday season nears, Sjogren hopes people don’t stop giving.

“The Salvation Army doesn’t just give food and shelter, we also provide programs year round to help people get back on their feet,” Sjogren said. “For every dollar donated, 87 cents goes directly to the programs, and with the help of the community, it can continue to stay that way.”


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