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Non-profit need created by COVID-19 inspires Giving Tuesday in May

Posted at 6:06 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:06:58-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — People and organizations across the Big Bend area will participate in Giving Tuesday on May 5 in order to help meet the needs of COVID-19.

We're used to Giving Tuesdays in December but the global movement added another day on May 5 to respond to the global pandemic.

Felina Martin, the executive director of the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence, says COVID-19 has put a particular strain on the organizations that usually help uplift our communities.

Channeling the warmth of the holiday season, Giving Tuesday allows for a chance to help keep non-profits operational during a time in our lives they are needed most.

"It's dire straits right now," said Martin. "And unfortunately it's really do or die, and we have to look at the sustainability of keeping those nonprofits that we love and helping them keep their doors open and operations. Please, please, non-restricted funds are really critical for a nonprofit to be able to keep its doors open."

It's money non-profits can funnel into areas they see with the most need. Innovative Community Engagement, or ICE Foundation, is hoping to use donations to help students with distance learning.

"This Giving Tuesday we're looking to raise $5,000 in order to purchase more laptops, and continue working with them [students] and helping families out during this time of need," said G.C. Murray, the CEO and founder of ICE Foundation.

Since 2010, Brenda Harris' non-profit group home, Making Miracles, has helped several young pregnant homeless women each year by providing them shelter and guiding them towards independence.

"This year for Giving Tuesday we would like to raise at least $30,000, because normally every year we have our banquet," said Harris. "This year we won't be able to have our banquet. We normally have it in May."

Last year, they were able to raise $28,000, which they use to cover monthly operating costs of about $4,000.

Felina Martin, executive director of the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence, says it's important to give to organizations like Making Miracles so they can keep people in place to support the community.

"Our vitality and our livelihood is based on vibrant nonprofit organizations, and we are doing a different plea to the community in terms of their support," Martin said.

Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to see just how far your efforts reach when combined with others, and you don't have to let it stop there.

You can contribute all year round on the national page by clicking here, or by directly supporting organizations in your own community.

If you're not able to contribute financially, you can also participate by committing to donating your time.