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Helping Hands

Melissa Topey • Dec 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Ottawa County organizations are sounding a call for action on Tuesday, when shoppers will have Black Friday and Cyber Monday fresh in their minds.

On Tuesday, dubbed “Giving Tuesday,” nonprofits aim to foster a sense of giving as the holidays approach.

“This movement is trying to get people to think: What is important to you?” said Marcia Jess, secretary for the Ottawa County Community Foundation.

Individuals or businesses can donate directly to a nonprofit whose cause they believe in, or they can give to the Ottawa County Community Foundation, Jess said.

A list of the organizations the Ottawa County Community Foundation supports is available at ottawaccf.org.

The United Way of Ottawa County is also participating.

“We are entering the holiday season,” said Chris Galvin, area director of the United Way in Ottawa County. “This is a friendly reminder to inspire generosity”

The United Way of Ottawa County approached area businesses about donating to local nonprofits or to the foundation.

Port Clinton businesses that have stepped up to the challenge: Bell Mell Tavern, which is donating 10 percent of its Tuesday sales, and New Direction Health & Wellness, which is donating $5 from every massage on Tuesday.

“We still have available a couple spots on Tuesday,” said Amanda Conn, of New Direction. “If someone mentions they read this in the Sandusky Register, we will donate $10 from their massage”

Conn and Judy Paschen have been donating for years to nonprofits, providing gift certificates for fundraisers. Giving Tuesday simply creates a new way to be charitable. Conn recommends that other businesses and individuals donate whatever they can.

“It’s part of giving back and serving the community” she said.

Other participating Ottawa County businesses: Coffee Express, Common Grounds Cafe, Mary’s Blossom Shoppe, Ohio Custom Products and Ohler & Holzhauer. Businesses can sign up until the day of the event.

Giving Tuesday is a worldwide movement aimed at promoting charitable giving to nonprofits that often struggle amid dwindling financial resources, particularly toward the end of the year.

Last year, 2,500 partners in 50 states helped with fundraisers and volunteering, ultimately raising more than $10 million from online donations.

The United Way of Erie County is promoting Giving Tuesday on its website, uwerieco.org, said Pamela Brumbaugh, area director of the United Way in Erie County.

Area communities have scarce resources, and Tuesday’s day of awareness is a great approach to remind people to help — and not get too caught up in shopping, Brumbaugh said.

“People realize how fortunate they are and how unfortunate others are” Brumbaugh said. “They realize they can provide for their family while others can’t, so they’re willing to reach into their pocket. No one wants to think about others suffering”

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