December 3, 2013
The holiday shopping season is only beginning, but there's a new trend this year that many are hoping becomes a new tradition.
The thought behind Giving Tuesday is shifting consumers' focus from getting caught up in holiday shopping to donating time or resources to local nonprofits in need.
"It's to officially kick off the giving season just in the same way Black Friday kicks off the shopping season," said Jackie Bright, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is just one organization taking part.
"You don't have to be a super hero to be super for these kids," Bright said.
The group has 150 kids on the waiting list for an adult mentor, and now is the time of year that could have the most impact.
"We're trying really hard to get those children matched with a mentor before the holiday season because what a great present we could give them and say, 'Hey, this holiday, you have a big brother or big sister,'" Bright said.
Computers 4 Kids is another local organization taking part in the new trend.
"Just put it on people's radar what's going on and that there's the opportunity to support and make a difference by making a donation," said Michaela Muttom, the grants and communications manager for Computers 4 Kids. "One of the benefits of a day like Giving tuesday is if a lot of people give, even if it's a little, it will make a difference."
And it's not always about money. The organizations are also searching for volunteers.
"There's a real impact on the quality of life of our students, and many of the students stay in the community, so there's an impact on the community," Muttom said.
Both Big Brothers Big Sisters and Comptuers 4 Kids are in the middle of holiday campaigns to reach certain goals before the end of the year, and they say now is the time they could use a good boost.