NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Local charities felt the love of their communities Dec. 3 during national Giving Tuesday.
The celebration, which began as a social media hashtag in 2017, urges everyone to donate to causes they care about the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
“Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving,” said Sheila Sillitto, communications and marketing manager for North Fulton Community Charities. “When all the nonprofits work together to make an impact on one day, it gets the entire community excited about giving back. We are stronger together than we are individually.”
North Fulton Community Charities, which helps fight poverty and homelessness, more than doubled its goal of $20,000 this year. It raised a total of over $60,000 on and leading up to Giving Tuesday.
“While this was a significant amount and we are grateful for the generous community we live it, it is important to understand that nonprofits need donations throughout the year and not just on Giving Tuesday,” Sillitto said. “NFCC provides over $1.2 million in emergency financial assistance every year for rent, utilities and basic necessities. That means the money raised for Giving Tuesday will only last a few weeks due to the volume of need in our community. Housing costs continue to rise putting more pressure on families already struggling to get by in North Fulton.”
The Roswell-based Children’s Development Academy, which provides affordable early learning programs and childcare for preschool children in Metro Atlanta, saw more than double the amount of Giving Tuesday contributions from last year. It raised over $50,000 this year, in part because of two giving challenges.
The Hagan family once again posed the Hagan Family Challenge, promising to match gifts up to $30,000. One of the Children’s Development Academy’s newest employees, Lisa Walker and her husband, likewise pledged to match all gifts made on Giving Tuesday up to $5,000.
“With the holiday season upon us, Giving Tuesday falls at just the right time of year to encourage others to give of their time, talent and treasure to organizations doing great work in the community,” said Trish O’Neill, Children’s Development Academy marketing and communications director. “We were also privileged to join forces with the City of Roswell this year for Giving Tuesday’s #GiveWellRoswell efforts. The city help promote local nonprofits on their social media and help spread the word about Giving Tuesday.”
Meanwhile, at BrewAble, a small coffee shop operating within the Alpharetta Community Center, Giving Tuesday proved somewhat of a windfall.
The nonprofit focuses on providing meaningful employment and community connections for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, said co-founder Mary Ulich.
BrewAble’s seven-member board of directors put up $16,000 in matching funds for those who donated to the cause on Giving Tuesday. That match nearly dried up by day’s end when 75 individual donors put up $11,500.
As another inducement, BrewAble offered any visitor who donated to any nonprofit in Alpharetta that day a free cup of coffee.
“One gentleman came in and said ‘I’m here to get my free $200 cup of coffee,”’ Ulich said. “Then, he wrote a check for $200.”
In Johns Creek, the family-run Jonny and Xena “Spread the Words” foundation raised $3,200 on Giving Tuesday through its social media pages. The nonprofit works to support the local special need community and animal rescues.
“We’re so grateful,” founder and Director Linda Hickey said. “Our extended family ‘followers’ are so supportive. I will probably try to reach more people next year with emails, but I’m extremely pleased with every donation we received this year.”
The Charity Guild of Johns Creek worked to raise thousands for the Star House after school program.
Multiple local charities said that while Giving Tuesday was just one day, they provide services throughout the year. They urged locals to consider giving back during their multiple fundraisers and volunteering opportunities held outside of Giving Tuesday.
Staff writers Carson Cook and Patrick Fox contributed to this report.