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Giving Tuesday: How to give back to local charities in need

Local charities and non-profits say the pandemic has made the need for many services constant, so donations are key to their survival.

YORK, Pa. — After several days of holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is a time for refocusing those spending efforts on giving back to the community.

Giving Tuesday, or the National Day of Giving, marks one of the most important days for many local charities & non-profits to bolster up their funds in order to give back throughout the year.

Kate Harmon, one of the lead coordinators with Give Local York, has seen that firsthand.

“We really use the day as a way to remind people anytime they can give its great – especially this year, just like last year, we all still need a little bit of help," she says.

The 2020 Giving Tuesday Data & Trends report found that while the pandemic may have impacted many families' financial situations, giving to charity actually increased by 5 percent from 2019. The report also found that the focus areas around donations changed with health & human services showing the most growth, which "mirrored the increased demand for services due to COVID-19." 

Meanwhile, "arts and culture showed clear declines, reflecting lost access due to stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and reduced event-based fundraising opportunities."

Harmon said that charitable giving overall "has changed drastically in general over the past couple of years...We don’t have the same wealth that a lot of people used to have and we know people were out of jobs...we even had some people give who were in need of help themselves."

For those who are planning to support an organization today-- there are some ways to make sure your donation is secure.
The Better Business Bureau recommends double-checking the identity of the charity, as many have similar sounding names.
They also say to review the website carefully, avoid quick donations with unfamiliar organizations, and watch out for emotional appeals.

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