#GivingTuesday helps Pine Belt organizations - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

#GivingTuesday helps Pine Belt organizations

PINE BELT (WDAM) -

Pine Belt organizations benefited from the global day of giving the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, better known at #GivingTuesday.

The social media movement started in 2012 and is now recognized in 98 countries.  The movement has one simple goal, to get people around the work to donate some time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community.  

"This gives people an opportunity to really look at one day of giving back, people have been blessed they can bless others," said Amanda Lamb, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the United Way of Southeast Mississippi.

The organization took part in #GivingTuesday.  All money donated will be spread through programs already funded through the United Way, like Habitat for Humanity and the Boys & Girls Clubs.

"Those donations will stay local to other non-profits," said Lamb.  "We have a group of volunteers and community leaders that hold them accountable for what they are going to do with that money, so you can trust it's going to a good cause."

The United Way of Southeast Mississippi has four impact areas:  education, health, financial stability and support services.  Lamb said if you can't make a monetary donation, the organization is also looking for volunteers to help at a number of events in the Pine Belt this holiday season.

"If you want to share your time or talents, or if you want to buy actual items that are needed, we are offering those opportunities," said Lamb.  "You can contact Volunteer Southeast Mississippi for a full list of the agencies and what they have available this holiday season."

This was the first time Southern Cross Animal Rescue participated in #GivingTuesday through Facebook. 

"It's the end of the year, this is often the time where donations slack off because people are Christmas shopping, traveling and there's not a lot of money left in the budget to donate," said Heather Williams, President of SCAR.  "All the funds go into the Facebook funds and we get a check usually within a month, so if you give today it will be just in time for Christmas."

This year, Facebook is again partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to match up to two-million dollars in donations to fundraisers held on Facebook by nonprofits.  Additionally, Facebook waived its typical 5% fee on donations to U.S-based nonprofits.

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