Seven Ways to Celebrate Giving Tuesday in Kalamazoo
There's always buzz about Black Friday. Recently, more people are taking up the mantle of Small Business Saturday. But have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday started in 2012, and it falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. It's a day that we stop our very cheery hustle and bustle (while checking people off our list) to help those who are working so hard to help our most vulnerable neighbors. Consider honoring Giving Tuesday by donating your time or resources to these deserving local organizations.
The First Day Shoe Fund is a wonderful organization that gives a brand new pair of shoes to Kalamazoo school children who qualify for free or reduced lunch. According to their website, quote:
Since many families are unable to purchase new shoes, many students are forced to wear shoes that are the incorrect size, tattered, or worn. First Day Shoe Fund believes that every child should start school on equal footing, and distributes a new pair of properly fitting athletic shoes to those students in need.
You know what they say; dress for the job you want. Well, some of our neighbors can't afford proper attire to land an interview. One of the many services the Kalamazoo Deacons Conference provides is supplying an appropriate wardrobe for people living below the poverty level. If you have last years' styles taking up space in your closet, consider giving them new life in new hands and help change someone's future.
What started out as an overdose aid drug information and crisis management hotline in the 1970s, Gryphon Place is now the areas most trusted suicide prevention agency. A donation to Gryphon Place can help them continue to provide care and support to our community for years to come. Their mission goes above and beyond, quote:
We are the leading agency for suicide prevention in the area, and we continue to offer several suicide prevention resources, including the 24/7 helpline, The Gatekeeper Program, and a survivors of suicide loss support group.
So many lives have been changed by a simple trip to a memorial. Talons Out Honor Flights send our vets to the WWII Memorial, the Korea Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial free of charge. They can do so with donations from neighbors like you. You can donate on a national level, or choose to donate to a local chapter to ensure you're helping a Michigander take the next flight.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan is always looking for people to join their program and mentor our area youth. If time is an issue for you, consider making a donation through their website.
Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes does so much important work in our community by helping food insecure families bridge their grocery gap with free nutritious food. Since the pandemic began, more and more families have been relying on the packages they receive from Loaves and Fishes, which means they could use help sorting donations, taking calls, and more. Remember, they have the buying power to turn $1 in to $10 worth of food, so if you're a little cash strapped, but you still want to help your community, a little goes a long way at Loaves and Fishes.
An often unsung hero in our community is Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries who provides more than just shelter for our homeless brothers and sisters. They provide three meals a day for our food insecure neighbors, housing for people trying to get back on their feet, daycare for residents, skills classes for people reentering the workforce, and so much more. A great way to help them out is to donate diapers. Not just for infants and toddlers, either. The elderly on a fixed income makes up a large swath of the people Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries helps, so a donation of adult diapers is very much appreciated.