As we gather with friends and family for Thanksgiving this Thursday, then perhaps get a jumpstart on our holiday shopping on Black Friday, there’s another day on the calendar that means a great deal to the community: Giving Tuesday.
For Plateau Outreach Ministries, that first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is key to allowing them to provide vital social services to the local community. “Giving Tuesday is one of our main fundraisers of the year,” notes Executive Director Elisha Smith-Marshall.
Giving Tuesday – Nov. 30 this year – was established nine years ago as a way to build a world where generosity is part of everyday life. Today it’s grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.
With an aim to raise at least $30,000 during Giving Tuesday, Plateau Outreach Ministries is excited to have a $5,000 matching donation from Enumclaw Rotary, which means donations will go even farther!
Funds raised will support their Samaritan Services, which provides emergency financial aid when people are in crisis, perhaps following a job loss, illness or accident, for example. With 1,300 local families helped last year, of the $295,000 in vouchers distributed to local families, 47 percent went to rental assistance and 48 percent went to utilities. The remaining 5 percent helped families with other essentials, like gas vouchers to get to doctor’s appointments or emergency vehicle repairs.
In addition to emergency financial aid, Samaritan Services provides extended support for those requiring more in-depth case management, and turning point support, for those ready to commit to a long-term plan to end the cycle of living in crisis.
“The need for our services is still so great, and it isn’t going away anytime soon,” Smith-Marshall says.
“I know that when times are difficult, people want to help, to make a difference, but they aren’t sure what to do. Giving Tuesday is a reminder about making sure we are taking care of our neighbors and the charities working to help our community.”
How you can help
To make a difference this Giving Tuesday – and any time! – visit Plateau Outreach online at plateauoutreach.org. A pop-up will take you directly to the secure donation page. Alternatively, you can mail or drop off a check, but be sure to note that the donation is for Giving Tuesday, to ensure it qualifies for the matching donation.
While support is welcome throughout the year, participating in events like Giving Tuesday can also make a difference to donors.
“To know you were part of this group that helped make a difference for so many people, that’s something special,” Smith-Marshall says. And for those in the community who are experiencing challenges, it helps to know “there are still a lot of good people out there.”
Beyond financial donations, the team at Plateau Outreach always welcomes gifts of time as well! To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit plateauoutreach.org/getinvolved