Selfie Cat says “Woke up like this. Donate to the Kokomo Humane Society!”
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The Kokomo Family YMCA kicks off its annual fundraising campaign with Giving Tuesday. For the Kokomo Humane Society, it’s part of a larger effort. And for Kokomo Urban Outreach (KUO), it’s an opportunity to grow.
Giving Tuesday is a national event during which people are encouraged to donate to their favorite charities. Kokomo and Howard County fully embrace the day, much as they do Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. It is a time to share the spirit of the season, which will echo across the year.
“Giving Tuesday is important for two reasons,” said Dana Neer, CEO of United Way of Howard and Tipton Counties. “First of all, it's important because we know, those gifts that come in from people and businesses, there's an attachment and an affinity to those organizations, including United Way. So, we’re thankful that people think of us and believe in us.
“Second, it does help our campaign. We are rolling towards great things and producing great results for our nonprofits in Kokomo and Tipton. Giving Tuesday provides additional resources for us to be able to accomplish those goals.”
Because United Way awards grants to many local nonprofits, it can make a donated dollar stretch a little farther, but donors are able to make designated gifts to specific organizations through United Way as well.
“You can designate your gift, and we'll make sure that gift gets to that organization,” said Neer. “That’s very important to us. We want to follow the wishes of those who partner with us. That relationship is very valuable, and it is something that we certainly do.”
Giving to United Way can be accomplished by visiting United Way Serving Howard and Tipton Counties (howardandtiptonunitedway.org), via mail by sending checks to United Way, 210 W. Walnut St., Kokomo, 46901, or by visiting in person.
According to Lisa Gauger, Chief Development Officer for the Kokomo Family YMCA, Giving Tuesday is the start of something special for the organization. It is the beginning of the Y’s annual funding drive.
“Giving Tuesday is the kickoff for our yearly solicitation of gifts, we call them, or donations,” said Gauger. “At the YMCA, we turn no one away. We are truly for all, and we give scholarships to people for programming and for memberships.
“Without the generosity of the people in our community, we can’t give everyone the opportunity to experience the Y.”
Gauger explained that 100 percent of the money donated during Giving Tuesday will be devoted to those membership and program scholarships. People can donate by visiting www.kokomoymca.org and clicking on Giving. They can mail checks to Kokomo Family YMCA, 114 N. Union St., Kokomo, IN 46901, or they can deliver donations in person.
Over at KUO, things are growing aggressively. Hundreds of school-aged children participate in activities and perform work as they build character, work ethic, and life skills. According to Jeff Newton, retired director and volunteer for KUO, Giving Tuesday is their chance to reach even more children.
“It's one of our most important fundraisers of the year,” said Newton. “We're able to put information out concentrated information out very quickly. And we get a good response.”
This year, Kokomo Urban Outreach hopes to fund the addition of 20 new kids to its group programs. The UP Program for kids ages 10-18 would add 10 participants, as would KUO’s MiniUP Program for children ages 3 to 9.
Nearly every nonprofit in the community is asking for assistance today, but it isn’t always money that is sought. For instance, the Very Early Childhood Education Center needs children’s books. People looking to donate can drop off new or lightly loved children’s books at South Side Christian Church, 201 E. Markland Ave., Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
For some organizations, Giving Tuesday is part of a larger fundraising campaign. The Kokomo Humane Society is in the middle of its year-end fundraising campaign to raise $5,000 by Dec. 12. This year, donors will receive a 5x7 digital card featuring their pets for donating.
Donors can visit https://kokomohumane.networkforgood.com/projects/211164-giving-tuesday-2023?fbclid=IwAR3xq5B-WW6fPCOq-jEF-SQQIcPL_AhDVzlbs03FfbLPArmY3sE2p8JFLmA to make a donation, or they can mail checks to Kokomo Humane Society, 729 E. Hoffer St., Kokomo, IN 46902. Make sure to write “#KHSGivingTuesday on the memo line.
There are dozens of other Giving Tuesday promotions taking place across the community. If your organization is currently seeking assistance on Giving Tuesday, feel free to include a link in the comments of this article.