On Nov. 28, “#Giving Tuesday” begins its sixth year of using the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving – and just after Black Friday and Cyber Monday – to celebrate and encourage giving.

#Giving Tuesday was created by the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact at the New York City YMCA as a day when organizations and individuals are encouraged – just before the Christmas and holiday season begins – to give back to their local charities.

“#Giving Tuesday is a reminder to our Lake Houston community about the importance nonprofit organizations play in our community and how our services transform lives,” said Judy Cox, executive director of FamilyTime Crisis and Counseling Center, which provides counseling, intervention, information, referrals and shelter to families and individuals in crisis. “FamilyTime has been fortunate to receive the support of many community members,” she said. “One group that has been instrumental in supporting FamilyTime is Kingwood Women’s Club. Year after year, they give selflessly of their time and donations.”

Millie Garrison, executive director of Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM), believes #Giving Tuesday is a great way to bring awareness and public participation to philanthropy.

“Social media is the main tool of today’s generation and that’s how word about #Giving Tuesday is spread,” said Garrison. “We’ve participated for the past two years and are grateful for the online donations we receive.”

HAAM helps community residents in crisis by proving the resources necessary for self-sufficiency.

When employees at the local Avis Rent-a-Car location last year decided to hold a giving back day, they decided to give locally by selecting Family Promise of Lake Houston as their charity of choice. Family Promise of Lake Houston provides safe, temporary housing, meals and support services to homeless families in the Lake Houston Area.

“Avis employees brought supplies, small gifts for the kids of our families, and made a financial donation to our agency,” says Carole Brady, Family Promise executive director. “They wanted to be a part of ‘Giving Tuesday’ and make a local impact – and they truly did!”

This #Giving Tuesday, Brady is asking the Lake Houston community to help Family Promise build a kitchen in their new Promise House.

“We’re including a teaching kitchen in our new facility and we want to bring in local nutritionists, home cooks and local chefs to help teach our families how to cook on a budget,” Brady said. “We want to teach the value of living and eating in a healthy lifestyle. We’ll have vegetable and herb gardens at the Promise House and our Giving Kitchen will make a difference in the lives of our families.”

The devastation of Hurricane Harvey on the Lake Houston community is foremost on the minds of these local organizations.

“We’re very sensitive and supportive to the businesses and individuals who were impacted by Harvey,” Brady said, “and we know that this year’s giving will look so much different than before.”

FamilyTime will use #Giving Tuesday donations to help with repairs to facilities.

“Our community was hit hard by Harvey, so we want our focus to be on helping rebuild the lives of those affected,” Cox said. “We’re in need of cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and paper goods.”

HAAM also will use this year’s #Giving Tuesday donations to assist their families devastated by Hurricane Harvey, according to Garrison.

“The success of #Giving Tuesday isn’t determined by the amount of your donation but rather the thought behind the donation,” Cox said. “A $5 donation is just as meaningful as a $500 donation, and donations of goods or volunteer support matters to an organization, too.”

To participate in #Giving Tuesday:

Family Promise: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 281-441-3754.

Humble Area Assistance Ministries: 281-446.-663, #130, or haamministies.org.

FamilyTime: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 281-446-2615.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.