Mid-Michigan non-profits talk importance of #GivingTuesday

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The weekend's holiday shopping out of the way, non-profits and charities across the nation are hoping you turn your attention and your pockets their way. Giving Tuesday is a day known for global generosity and kindness where donation drives flood the internet.

Troy Baker with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of West Michigan says it’s also a time they see a lot of holiday scams.

"Make sure that you know exactly who it's going to and what it's for. That way you're giving with trust and you know it's going where it needs to be," said Baker.

Baker says it’s important to understand who you’re giving to. With the abundance of people asking for your money, the Greater Lansing Food Bank decided to take a different approach to ask for donations by making a video showing people where their donations go. They followed a donated jar of peanut butter all the way to their warehouse.

"We really hope that seeing that is going to inspire the community to kind of say 'we know our food is really going out into the community. This is how it works,' and to really donate more food or donate money so that we can provide more food," said Nalee Xiong, Greater Lansing Food Bank.

Xiong says whether you choose to donate money, food, or your time volunteering, anything helps.

"We can really stretch that $10 bill or that $1, that $5. We can provide more meals with that because of our gracious partners that we have in the community," Xiong said.

Even smaller non-profits like House of Promise, who helps survivors of sex-trafficking, say donations will be extremely important this holiday season.

"Giving Tuesday has been good to us because it does make people think about us again and this time of year people are being grateful and counting their blessings and they think about our girls and the rough life that they've had," said Shari Montgomery, Founder of House of Promise.

Army veteran Adam Small started the non-profit Veteran Helping Veteran this January after moving from North Carolina and not seeing the same resources for veterans and first responders in Michigan. He and his wife aim to help them find mental health resources and participate in community activities without having to worry about the cost.

"We want to help offset the cost of mental health down the road for first responders and veterans. Everybody knows veterans suffer from PTSD, but what's not talked about is first responders and that's just as bad," said Small.

Veteran Helping Veteran is based in West Michigan, but helps people across the state.

“We are about resources and providing an environment with like-minded individuals and their families going through the same. They can reengage and we can possibly get that person that’s been sitting in their house for a year or two years possibly longer, out in the community,” said Small.

Tickets are still available for their MSU Hockey game outing on Dec.14.

But if donations aren't in your pocketbook, Marylin Ebaugh, a volunteer in the community has some advice.

"They certainly have time to give if they don't have any more money, "said Ebaugh.

For information on Greater Lansing Food Bank

For information on Veteran Helping Veteran

For information on House of Promise

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