GivingTuesday a chance to help out local organizations

  • GivingTuesday

  • GivingTuesday

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/30/2020 4:56:50 PM

GivingTuesday is a world-wide movement that encourages people to do good, collaborate and celebrate generosity. While the idea is centered around a one-day event, “unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world,” the end goal is to strive “to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe.”

GivingTuesday is today (Dec. 1) and while it is a global phenomenon, many local organizations are taking part in the annual event that began in 2012 in the hopes of strengthening the communities of the Monadnock region.

The Monadnock Center for Violence Protection (MCVP), the domestic and sexual violence crisis center for Cheshire and western Hillsborough counties, is looking to achieve its goal of raising $15,000 to make necessary and crucial repairs to its lifesaving emergency shelter. The shelter, which is located at an undisclosed location, houses survivors fleeing imminent danger from domestic violence. The funds raised will go toward safety repairs that are needed to ensure safe housing for the shelter guests, including all new windows.

“We have two that we have   to do and we know the others will follow along,” said Robin Christopherson, executive director of MCVP. She said this is the second time the organization has used GivingTuesday as a way to raise crucial funds for a specific need.

“We just felt the more specific we can get, the more tangible it is, the better,” Christopherson said.

Safety is MCVP’s top priority, relying on having a strong security system in place, including functioning windows. Christopherson said MCVP strives to create a welcoming and well maintained space and these upgrades help achieve that goal. According to Megan Fulton, development director at MCVP, the organization can provide updated furniture, appliances, new bedding, toiletries, and necessities, but when the building itself needs updating, it can require costly repairs and that is where the community can help during GivingTuesday.

“These days of giving put a spotlight on it for people that don’t happen the rest of the year,” Christopherson said. “And it’s a way to reach people that we haven’t reached before.”

“COVID has really shown there’s a space for online giving,” Fulton said.

MCVP’s For Now House serves survivors fleeing from all 23 towns in Cheshire county and 14 in western Hillsborough county. It also serves survivors from throughout New Hampshire, New England and occasionally survivors from around the country. In 2019, 37 survivors stayed in MCVP’s shelter for a total of 2,331 bed nights.

But the coronavirus pandemic has really limited what can be done at the shelter. Pre-COVID-19, Christopherson said they could house up to 11 people. Right now there are just three people able to stay. With people fleeing dangerous situations in need of shelter, Christopherson said “we had to use hotels and spent over $30,000 on hotel stays since COVID started,” while in a typical year that amount in maybe $5,000.

Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter Project Manager Susan Howard said participating in GivingTuesday is two-fold.

“You get the donations you need to help people, but you also get people who need help and they find you that way,” she said.

And the money brought in today will go directly to the guests of MATS.

“Helping them meet their needs,” she said.

With every sector feeling the effects of lost jobs and a struggling economy, Howard expects more people will need help in the coming year.

“I think it will eventually, after the new year, get worse,” Howard said. “My guess there’s going to be a lot more (people in need).”

That’s why any donation can go a long way.

“It really adds up,” Howard said. “Even just $5 makes a big difference in people’s lives.”

The Monadnock United Way is holding a fundraising campaign during Giving Tuesday for its Better Together Campaign.

“Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to make an impact on the Monadnock Region and to leverage your gift to the Better Together Campaign,” said MUW Resource Development Director Katie Gardella. “Our region has the third highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the state, the poverty rate in Cheshire County alone is 1 in 4, and children in this region score lower than the rest of the state in English and math. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is likely to make these statistics worse.”

All gifts to Monadnock United Way on GivingTuesday will be matched dollar for dollar by a group of anonymous donors up to $10,000 to help reach the Better Together Campaign goal of $1,277,000.

Other local organizations participating include The Park Theater, The River Center, and Monadnock Developmental Services and that’s just a sampling. Statewide organizations like the Boy's and Girls Club, Red Cross and New Hampshire Children’s Trust are also seeking help.

And while GivingTuesday is a collection of organizations looking for a boost during what has been an unprecedented time, the idea behind the movement is to inspire giving with a goal to spark change.

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