#GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a day when people all over the world make donations to organizations and charities, and volunteer time to give back to the causes they believe in within their communities.
Chaffee Art Center, which provides art programs for children and adults to learn about and be immersed in the arts, participated for the first time, Executive Director Jim Boughton said.
The plan is to use what the center raised to fund its education programs, help new artists and to build a scholarship fund, Boughton said.
As of Tuesday afternoon they only had a few donations, but they hoped to raise a few thousand dollars by the end of the day, Boughton said.
He was unaware of #GivingTuesday before this year, but once he heard about it, he decided to get the word out to the community to help support Chaffee Art Center on this particular day.
“It’s about community giving back to community,” Boughton said.
Art is therapeutic, and it has the ability to bring the community together, which is what makes organizations such as the art center so important, Boughton said.
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, with headquarters at Pico Mountain, is an organization that serves people of all ages with physical, developmental, cognitive and emotional behavioral disabilities all over the state. It also worked to raise funds on #GivingTuesday. The goal was to amass $60,000 this year, which would then be matched by the organization’s board of directors along with an anonymous donor, bringing the total to $120,000, Director of Communications Kim Jackson said.
Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, $40,000 had been raised, she said.
Last year on #GivingTuesday, Vermont Adaptive raised more than $90,000 total, $45,000 of which was given by the same anonymous donor family that agreed to match what was raised if Vermont Adaptive could raise that same amount by the end of the day, Jackson said.
“We are honored to have this amazing donor family come to us again to help us this year,” said Erin Fernandez, executive director of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, in a statement.
The funds raised will be used to fund Vermont Adaptive programs, new equipment and scholarships Jackson said.
Their scholarship fund is particularly important.
“We never turn anyone away based on their ability to pay,” Jackson said.
#GivingTuesday is an important fundraiser for the organization, which must raise at least $330,000 from donors each year to operate, Jackson said.
Mount St. Joseph Academy, a Catholic school in Rutland, said it hoped to raise $5,000 on #GivingTuesday, which would then be matched by an alumni family, bringing its total raised to $10,000, Principal Sarah Fortier said.
By early afternoon Tuesday, the school saw $1,000 in pledges and donations and expected to reach its goal, Fortier said.
The money donated will be put toward student financial aid, she said.
Students at MSJ give back to the community throughout the school year, and even have a day dedicated to community service when students take on projects such as tutoring elementary school students at Christ the King School, picking up trash around Rutland or raking leaves on campus and in the community, along with many other tasks, Fortier said.
This gives the community a chance to give back to them, Fortier said.