Giving Tuesday helps local nonprofits raise money to give back to the community

SPOKANE, Wash. – After the Thanksgiving holiday and slew of sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday takes place.

It’s a day for people to donate to nonprofits. The day of giving started in 2012 and has grown.

It’s a day many local nonprofits in Spokane look forward to, knowing they’ll raise thousands of dollars to help them and families like Carlos Oronia and Victoria Valencia.

The two have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) for the last month and a half. They didn’t know about the organization until their son, Carlos, was born prematurely.

Valencia says he was born when she was 30 weeks pregnant. He came out at three pounds, and Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital needed to keep him in the NICU to get stronger. The staff there told the family about the Ronald McDonald House since they were trying to figure out what to do being from Moses Lake.

“It’s definitely a big help for us because if it wasn’t for the charity, we’d probably be having a harder time seeing our baby at the hospital in the NICU. They do lots of things for families that are staying here and for us,” Oronia said of the nonprofit. “We were figuring it out, how we were going to do it with food, groceries and everything.”

On Giving Tuesday, the two shared their story on the Ronald McDonald House’s Facebook page. It was part of the organization’s campaign to get donations to help families like theirs.

“The money we raise today helps provide necessities that we do for the families staying here,” said Bob McLean, the development director for RMHC. “That could be meals, a room, a place to stay, transportation to and from the hospital, and some of the other support they get while they’re staying here.”

The global effort to give on Tuesday is a big deal for charities across the Inland Northwest.

People raised $2.47 billion in 2020 for nonprofits in the United States. For this year’s Giving Tuesday, McLean said they hoped to raise $10,000.

Transitions, a nonprofit which helps get women and children off the streets, budgets for the donations they get on Tuesday.

Sarah Lickfold, the development director for Transitions, said in some years, they’ve received between $5,000 and $20,000.

“I hope people can see that it’s more than just a dollar. it’s more than just $20. It’s really giving us the opportunity to push back against those barriers that our women and children are facing,” Lickfold said.

In her organization, Lickfold believes the barriers women and children face became more “intense” because of the pandemic. For example, it’s been tough for them to find affordable housing for some of the women they help.

Not only does Giving Tuesday raise money for nonprofits, McLean says it also makes people aware of the different organizations that are within their reach.

While Giving Tuesday only lasts for 24 hours, nonprofits would like to remind people that they are in need of donations any time of the year.

“What we need the funds today and every day for are to just fight back against those barriers,” Lickfold said.

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