Today is charitable giving’s turn in the holiday spotlight

The OlympianDecember 3, 2013 

Holiday shoppers appear to have safely navigated Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, raising hopes for South Sound nonprofits today. This is #Giving Tuesday, the second annual global campaign to encourage online charitable giving.

Organizations in all 50 states joined the movement last year, raising more than $10 million. So it’s not by accident that the Thurston County Commission has proclaimed today Thurston County’s Day of Giving.

Nor is it any coincidence that the South Sound RESULTS group, a hunger and poverty grassroots lobby, is promoting today’s international donor-pledging conference for the Global Fund in Washington D.C.

Both efforts support the trend toward meaningful gifts that improve the quality of life for someone, somewhere in the world. We might lament that charitable giving needs a marketing campaign, a la Black Friday, but it’s a worthy, if not necessary, idea.

DAY OF GIVING

The Thurston County Commission hopes to inspire charitable giving today to the broad spectrum of local nonprofits, and United Way of Thurston County has taken up the challenge.

It is partnering with SafePlace and the Family Support Center of South Sound to raise $5,000 to provide shelter and food for women and families coping with homelessness, poverty or domestic violence. The Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way is matching the first $2,000 in donations.

Making a donation today will make a better tomorrow for women and families in our own community. Go to www.crowdrise/warmheartswarmhomes to make a donation.

THE GLOBAL FUND

People preferring to support public health issues on both a global and community level, can follow the lead of local members of RESULTS and help eradicate AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The Global Fund is the single largest funder of prevention and treatment of these three deadly diseases, which are teetering on an “ephermeral opportunity, where sufficient funding could end these scourges,” according to Carolyn Prouty, an Elma veterinarian and member of the group who teaches public health at The Evergreen State College.

By all accounts the Global Fund has been wildly successful in fighting these diseases, credited with saving more than 100,000 lives each month. It has launched an ambitious $15 billion initiative to eradicate them forever.

For example, the fund is currently providing anti-retroviral therapy to 5.3 million people with HIV/AIDS. Recent studies have shown that the treatment has decreased the likelihood of AIDS transmission to new partners by 96 percent.

The Global Fund has supported other scientific breakthroughs in Malaria and TB, raising the possibility of worldwide eradication. That’s a good reason to help now. And donations to the Global Fund have been historically matched 2-to-1 by other donor nations.

There are so many worthy causes that making a choice can seem overwhelming. But whether you want to help on a global or local scale, #Giving Tuesday provides incentive not to procrastinate. Do it today.

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