'It's our top giving period of the whole year'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- “So Giving Tuesday is such an important day for nonprofits," KIDS Center Director of Development and Marketing Ginger Theis-Stevens said Tuesday. "It’s a time for the community to just really connect with the heart of the community and give back in a way that’s just generosity from your heart."
Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that encourages people to give back to the community, with people often supporting their local charities.
KIDS Center is one of many nonprofits in Bend seeking community support all year round, but especially at the holidays and on Giving Tuesday.
They help kids and families overcome child abuse. On average, the center supports about 400 kids a year.
Theis-Stevens said, “We have a goal of raising $10,000, and we’re on our way. We received a grant from Rite Aid today that's helping us towards meeting that goal.”
The Giving Plate in Bend, Central Oregon's largest food pantry, usually gets five to 10 donations a day. On Giving Tuesday, they've had several donations, ranging from $10 to $1,000.
The Giving Plate Director Ranae Staley said, “We are really excited, because we have been positioned by someone generous in the community to offer a Mexico giveaway for people who are donating to The Giving Plate $50 increments.”
Staley said The Giving Plate has a big impact on the community.
“The stories are vast," she said. "I mean, health diagnoses, and job loss, relational breakups, things that just put them on the line of needing help. None of us are above the need for food, and none of us are too far away from having to walk through the doors of The Giving Plate. It just depends how much money you have sitting in a bank account.”
Last October, the Giving Plate launched a capital campaign to raise $3.5 million to bring a community store to Central Oregon and the organization only has 7 percent left to raise, leaving a balance of a little more than $240,000.
With big goals to reach, Staley said they appreciate all the community support they can get.
Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity has also been receiving love from the community.
Habitat for Humanity Director of Grants Management Mellissa Kamanya said, "We’ve had donors walk in today with checks, so it’s been already a great start for us.”
The organization builds homes for families who have low to moderate incomes, who provide "sweat equity" to help make it happen and often pay it forward as well.
Tall Tree Trust gave the local Habitat for Humanity chapter a $50,000 matching grant, and as of late Tuesday was just $10,000 short of reaching their goal.
Although some nonprofits have noticed a downward trend in giving amid recent challenges for so many, they say there's still a lot of generosity in the community.
Kamanya with Habitat for Humanity said she's noticed giving actually tends to be somewhat higher in times of uncertainty, because the need is so great.
“It is our top giving period of the whole year,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, KIDS Center was getting the attention of drivers with signs.
Theis-Stevens said, "We are inviting people to just drive through, come by KIDS Center, give a donation, or give a gift card, or just come and sign up for volunteering.”
Whatever the amount, the nonprofits are grateful for all who give.
Staley said, "I feel really fortunate to live in Central Oregon and have this community surrounding us, because really, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing without our community."