Giving Tuesday dedicated to giving back, doing good to help those in need ahead of holiday season

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(WTNH) — Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving back and doing good. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people worldwide, making this year’s Giving Tuesday even more critical.

Over the years, the global movement has inspired hundreds of millions of people to act.

Many have donated what they can to non-profit organizations that need support now, more than ever.

“We are buying more food than we ever had in our history,” said Paul Shipman, of Connecticut Food Bank. “We’ve spent more on buying more on food since April than we have in the last six years combined.”

Shipman told News 8 gifts will be matched up to $100,000 on Giving Tuesday, so you can help twice as many families in crisis. 

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You can also donate non-perishable food items, including canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, pasta, and peanut butter.

“The pandemic came on us suddenly; it’s not going to go away suddenly, unfortunately, so we’re going to need help for a long time to come,” said Shipman. 

You can also give back to organizations, similar to Columbus House, a non-profit that’s been providing solutions to homelessness for decades.

“The pandemic has affected all of us, but it’s affected those in the most need the most,” said Margaret Middleton, CEO of Columbus House. “People, who are already housing insecure, are experiencing homelessness at incredible rates right now.”

Both Middleton and Shipman thanked those who’ve donated to help them continue their work. The need for financial support remains urgent.

“Normally, we’d have people come in every single day to the shelter and they’d make and serve meals,” explained Middleton. “But, in this moment, we’re not having volunteers come in. We’re also anticipating a $100,000 deficit in terms of how much food is donated this year. Not to mention the hours and hours of time volunteers put in.”

Another way to help families is by donating to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. They have a goal they’re hoping to achieve on Giving Tuesday.

“The average length of stay for our families is 16 days,” said Cathy Bignolas, of RMHC of Connecticut and Western Mass. “It costs Ronald McDonald House $120 a night to serve one family. So, 16 times 120 is $1,920. That is our goal to raise today.”

Beyond donations, on Giving Tuesday, you’re being reminded every act of generosity counts. It could be as simple as making someone smile or helping a neighbor out.

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