Giving Tuesday! A day during the holidays, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, to encourage all of us to be a bit more generous and remember the non-profits who are working so hard and selflessly to help the many in need.

You may have shopped till you dropped over the weekend, or, you spent hours in front of your computer yesterday on Cyber Monday. So, how about a little giving back?

There are so many worthy organizations in West Michigan that I can't name them all, but you might consider a few like these.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) who work so hard, and advocate for abused and neglected children in Family Court who are in the Foster Care System. The CASA volunteer makes a huge difference in a child's life. There are many on a waiting list for a "CASA," so your gift might literally save a child.

The Humane Society of West Michigan. Taking care of, and finding homes for, abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum. This year, your Giving Tuesday donation helps repair carousel animals, which cost about $1,500 each to repair on this 90 year old working artifact.

Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids. From 5-8 p.m. tonight, #GivingTuesday, Gilda’s Club will host a Holiday Gift Boutique (vendor fair) and Open House. This first time event organized by Sue Marsh, a breast cancer survivor and Gilda’s Club member offers an opportunity to help fulfill individuals’ holiday shopping list while raising funds in support of the free emotional health programs for those on a cancer or grief journey.

The Salvation Army. Today, Tuesday, November 27, donations from all sources (online, mail, red kettles, phones, etc.) in Kent County will be matched up to $60,000.

Mel Trotter Ministries. We all have an important part to play to make sure our neighbors experiencing homelessness feel loved, valued and empowered to follow the calling God has placed on their lives. No matter your age, gender, status or ability, you are needed to help.

Kids Foodbasket. They nourish children living at or near the poverty level with critical evening meals to level the playing field for their academic achievement. They face urgent challenges of poverty, inequity and health in West Michigan. Regardless of the story, each child they serve and each child that remains on their waiting list needs Kids’ Food Basket. And they need you.

No matter who you support, any of these I have suggested, or your own favorite non-profit, please make an extra special effort to help today. You'll be helping so many lives.


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