NEWTON — While Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday focus on the commercial aspects of the approaching Christmas holiday, the start of the following week focuses on another reason for the season, with Giving Tuesday encouraging more philanthropic efforts among holiday spenders.
Many member branches of the Central Kansas Community Foundation — including those in Goessel, Halstead, Hesston, Newton, Peabody and Remington — held special events Tuesday highlighting the day of giving to encourage participation among community members.
Perhaps nowhere were those efforts more collaborative, though, than in Peabody. There, the Peabody Community Foundation partners with Peabody Burns Junior-Senior High School to host a Giving Tuesday Winterfest.
At the fourth annual Winterfest, numerous clubs at the high school host a soup supper to collect donations, while the PCF invites charities that have received grants or established an endowment fund with the foundation to be present at the event and visit with the community — inviting them to donate, volunteer time or provide in-kind contributions.
Not only does that collaboration exist in Winterfest, but PCF Director Becky Nickel said the foundation's work with the high school has started even earlier in recent years to help promote the ideals of Giving Tuesday.
"What we've been able to do this year, as in the last two years, is we've gotten the high school kids involved in doing good deeds in the community on Tuesdays before this Giving Tuesday," Nickel said. "The ultimate goal is to have everybody feel good about supporting our community."
In total, the Peabody community contributed $6,355 to the charities represented at Winterfest on Tuesday.
Charities on hand Tuesday were raising funds for causes ranging from stocking the local food pantry to helping improve Peabody parks,
Some of those causes — like the Coming Home for Christmas festival set for Dec. 7, and holiday lights project — had more immediate needs, as they try to draw more people to Peabody over the holiday season by offering activities or building on current community traditions. One thing Giving Tuesday in Peabody brings both of those projects is even more exposure.
"It helps people who aren't online, makes them aware of it as well," said committee member Hope Reynolds. "It's a good way to communicate to people who don't have that access online."
Meanwhile, as the Giving Tuesday initiative continues to grow both locally and nationally, Nickel is hopeful that will bring increasing efforts to help the charities of the PCF and other community foundations.
"Studies show that people who give are happier people," Nickel said, "and it's contagious."
For more information on Giving Tuesday or the area community foundations, visit centralkansascf.org.