Monday, November 28, 2016

Don't just give on Giving Tuesday

Kevin Hunsperger

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The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed Giving Tuesday. It's become a call to action to remember it's better to give than to receive. Between Thanksgiving shopping, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday serves a purpose of helping others. Here are a few ways to give back to your community.

You may be short on cash this time of year. It's understandable. Giving Tuesday doesn't require a monetary commitment. You can give your time too. The Salvation Army in most communities is in desperate need of volunteer bell ringers. This site, Register to Ring, matches volunteers with opportunities. But I was disappointed to see southern Illinois locations are not on the list. If you want to help in that region, call the office at (618) 993-5854.

Donate blood. Winter months are tough times for most blood banks. If you're able to give the gift of life, I'd highly recommend it. One donation can save up to three lives. The American Red Cross has opportunities to give on their website.

My running friends in the Yellow Donkeys are holding a food drive this weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 3 people can drop off non-perishable food items at the parking lot of John A. Logan College. Donations will be accepted between 9 and 10:30 a.m. The Saluki Food Pantry and the Good Samaritan House will benefit from your generosity.

This year's Ugly Christmas Suit
You can take your giving to the next level like my buddy Tom Harness. This year he is once again doing his Ugly Christmas Suit fundraiser (from Shinesty/Opposuits). This year he's helping The Promise in Marion. That group gives food and clothes to families in need all over southern Illinois. Last year Tom raised more than $4,500 for Team RWB (Red, White and Blue). This year the goal is $5,000.

So how can you help?

Step 1. Make a donation online or stop by The Promise (818 W Main St, Ste 3 in Marion, IL 62959) and make a food or monetary donation.

Step 2. Tom will come by your business or organization to spread Christmas cheer in the suit and take photos.

Step 3. Tom will upload the photos and help promote your business or organization.

These are just a few ways to give back this Giving Tuesday. Find a charity near and dear to you and give what you can. Or just pay it forward to a total stranger. It'll do wonders for your outlook on life. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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