Giving Tuesday encourages holiday spending for a good cause

Giving Tuesday encourages holiday spending for a good cause

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"It's kind of an insurance policy to make sure we're there for these families when the worst thing ever happens to them," said Lori Marsh of the American Red Cross of East Tennessee. "It's kind of an insurance policy to make sure we're there for these families when the worst thing ever happens to them," said Lori Marsh of the American Red Cross of East Tennessee.
"More than half of our donations are simply gifts from the public. We really do rely on a really generous community here in Knoxville," said Jonathan Haskell, the director of development for The Salvation Army of Knoxville. "More than half of our donations are simply gifts from the public. We really do rely on a really generous community here in Knoxville," said Jonathan Haskell, the director of development for The Salvation Army of Knoxville.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - We're all familiar with the yearly traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when millions of Americans try to get the best deals on Christmas gifts.

But a new national campaign has put the attention not on getting, but on giving.

It's called Giving Tuesday, a day at the start of the annual holiday season, encouraging people to give back to local charities.

"Great reminder as they're out shopping and preparing for the holidays to think about others," said Jonathan Haskell, the director of development for The Salvation Army of Knoxville.

Nonprofits in East Tennessee say they love the idea, because without donations from the public, they would not exist.

"We're not a government agency. We do receive funding from United Way, which we're very appreciative of, but that's only 30 percent of our budget," said Lori Marsh of the American Red Cross of East Tennessee.

The American Red Cross provides disaster relief across 35 counties. As recently as Monday night they were pitching in, helping out at a condominium fire in West Knoxville.

"Sitting down with those families and just working through the needs that they have. That's 400 times a year just within the Knoxville area," said Marsh.

The Salvation Army also helps meet the needs of hundreds of people in the community.

"Food, clothing. We can help with utilities assistance and fuel. Really just try to help people bridge that gap," said Haskell.

The also have a shelter for the homeless, which houses nearly 200 people. Their programs are funded largely by donations.

"More than half of our donations are simply gifts from the public. We really do rely on a really generous community here in Knoxville," said Haskell.

Both organizations hope Giving Tuesday will remind people the importance of giving every day of the week.

"It's kind of an insurance policy to make sure we're there for these families when the worst thing ever happens to them," said Marsh.

The nonprofits that started Giving Tuesday hope it will become a staple of the holiday season.

Giving Tuesday is not all about money, though. A number of nonprofits are also looking for volunteers to donate their time.

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