Giving Tuesday offers a natural kickoff for seasonal charitable giving.
More than 75 countries participate in Giving Tuesday and, close to home, Mustard Seed is among the organizations with high hopes that it will meet its $20,000 central Alberta goal.
Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick has stepped up and put Mustard Seed in the fundraising fast lane by offering to match Giving Tuesday donations up to $10,000.
“They’re fantastic. They’ve been such great partners to the Mustard Seed for years,” said Bryan Goehringer, Mustard Seed’s senior manager for campaign, parternships and grant development.
Goehringer said Giving Tuesday gives charitable organizations an opportunity to raise awareness about what they do and the importance of community support.
“I think it awakens people’s generosity. It kicks off the holidays, which is such a generous time of year for so many.”
In Red Deer, the money will go towards supporting the wide range of programs and services, including the 46 shelter mats that are provided to give people a place to spend the night. As well, three nights a week hot meals are provided through its dinner program.
A drop-in program provides everything from haircuts and movie nights to prayer services. Mustard Seed’s Wellness Centre includes an advocate who can help clients find the programs and services they need, whether it’s employment and housing help or medical and counselling support.
Through its school lunch program, 425 students in 48 schools around central Alberta receive a healthy lunch.
Scott Tilbury, Mustard Seed development officer, said most of the money raised through Giving Tuesday will go towards the meal programs. The organization also uses the week as an opportunity to thank donors. This week, about 100 dozen cookies are being handed out to those who helped support Mustard Seed this year.
Other charitable groups are also celebrating Giving Tuesday. Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta will see donations matched on Tuesday up to $10,000 by the Crist Family Foundation.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada has also announced donations will have triple the impact, thanks to an anonymous donor, meaning each gift will offer three times the support to Canadians affected by multiple sclerosis.
This Giving Tuesday, the MS Society aims to raise $50,000 in funds to better support those impacted by MS across the country. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS globally, with 12 people diagnosed with the disease, on average, each day.