Local nonprofit organizations are hoping residents have something to left in their wallets after the weekend shopping craze.

Giving Tuesday, a concept started in New York City eight years ago, is now a global generosity movement aimed at recognizing nonprofit organizations during the holiday season.

Mark Hill, executive director of United Way of Knox County, appreciates the concept and its timing.

“It’s post-Thanksgiving, and so people are in the mindset of how blessed we are to live in a generous and giving country,” he said. “And it’s a time when we’re focused on family, community, and church.”

Giving Tuesday continues to gain momentum. Last year, more than $400 million dollars were contributed in a 24-hour period, an increase of $100 million from 2017.

More than 100 countries participated, and the average gift was right around $105, according to a website dedicated to spreading the word about Giving Tuesday.

And local non-profit organizations are hoping to benefit once again.

Hill said while the United Way didn’t previously have a way to track Giving Tuesday gifts specifically, they did certainly see a spike in online giving last year.

This year, the United Way will begin using Digital Service Solutions, which is an analytic-based donor engagement tool.

With this new engagement process, United Way supporters can expect to receive messages about Giving Tuesday as well as updates about what the organization is doing in and for the community.

Hill emphasized that "United Way is great opportunity to give across the board,” as more than 20 area non-profits in Knox County receive funding from United Way. 

“It’s a one-stop shop,” he said.

“I love any reminder we can give to let others know how important it is to take care of those that need extra help,” said Capt. Laura Lunnam of the Salvation Army. “Many people live paycheck to paycheck, and getting sick or having a car break down can set a family back very far.”

The Salvation Army has been utilizing social media to promote Giving Tuesday and is hoping to reap some of the same benefits this year.

During the Christmas, the group needs a lot of support to help make the holiday a little merrier for hundreds of Knox County residents.

Angel Tree tags are already hanging on trees at Walmart, 650 Kimmell Road, German American Bank locations at 101 N. Third St. and 2814 N. Sixth St., the YMCA of Vincennes, 2010 College Ave., and the Salvation Army office itself at 2300 N. Second St.

Listed on the tags are toys and clothes local youngsters are asking for; this year, the Salvation Army is attempting to serve hundreds of children.

Additionally, said Lunnam, “We are in need of volunteer bell ringers” for the red kettle campaign. They’re relying solely on volunteer bell-ringers where, in the past, they have had some paid staff.

Volunteers can sign up for two-hour shifts by visiting www.registertoring.com.

For the first time, red kettles will be equipped with Apple Pay and Google Pay so that those wanted to donate but who may not carry cash, can simply scan the code on the signs, which will lead to an online donation. 

Donations can also be dropped off at the Salvation Army office or mailed to P.O. Box 293, Vincennes, IN 47591.

To give to the United Way, text "UWKnox" to 41444, or give online by visiting www.unitedwayofknoxcounty.org.

Volunteers with the Knox County Humane Society also expressed a need for donations, specifically to aid with the control of the feral cat population. The Humane Society spends thousands of dollars each year on its spay and neuter clinics.

Donations can be sent to KCHS, 405 Main St., Vincennes, IN 47591, or online at kchumanesociety.com.

Wherever one chooses to give, Hill says “it’s not a competition.”

“It’s all for the greater good.”

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