BUFFALO, N.Y. — Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has also become known as Giving Tuesday. It's grown to a worldwide celebration, encouraging people to come together and give what you can, from your time to your money, or support to organizations and causes in your community.
Americans donated more than $2.4 billion on Giving Tuesday last year, which was up 25% from 2019. Nonprofit organizations across Western New York are looking to tap back into that historic generosity this year.
Giving Tuesday is always a big day at Community Missions in Niagara Falls, an organization that helps people experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, and mental health struggles.
To them, this day is about more than driving donations. It's also about getting the whole community involved.
Volunteers from local high schools and colleges have been collecting canned goods and personal care items, as well as wrapping gifts for adopted families. Back this year, seven local restaurants in the Falls will be donating a portion of their sales for the entire week.
"We're excited to bring back what we call Dining for Dollars this year," Vice President of Public Relations and Development Christian Hoffman told 2 On Your Side. "So we have seven local restaurants up here in Niagara Falls, Niagara County at least, that are going to be donating a portion of their sales each day this week. So on Monday, we have a restaurant, Tuesday we have a restaurant, on through like that. That's a great way for our business relationships to support us, and then everybody can go support them, as they support us. "
The restaurants participating in Dining for Dollars:
- Village Bake Shoppe, 417 Center St., Lewiston: Will donate $1 for each Cake in a Cup sold through Saturday, Dec. 4
- Parkway Prime, 401 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls: Will donate 10% of food sales on Monday, Nov. 29.
- Anchor Bar, 114 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls: Will donate 10% of food sales on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
- Bella Vista Ristorante, 7001 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls: Will donate 10% of food sales on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
- Rainforest Cafe, 300 3rd St., Niagara Falls: Will donate 10% of sales on Thursday, Dec. 2.
- F-Bites Coffee & Kitchen, 616 Niagara St.., Niagara Falls: Will donate 10% of sales on Friday, Dec. 3.
- Power City Eatery, 444 3rd St., Niagara Falls: Will donate 10% of sales on Saturday, Dec. 4.
More information is available here.
Also in Niagara Falls, F Bites has been enthusiastically counting down to Giving Tuesday with an all-out push on its Facebook page.
The non-profit founded by Chef Bobby Anderson uses food to empower young people, by providing training and connecting them with job opportunities in the culinary world. They're hoping to use the funds raised on Giving Tuesday to replace all student aprons, hats, and gloves.
You can donate to their campaign directly through the F Bites Facebook page.
If you're an animal lover, your donation to the SPCA Serving Erie County will go twice as far today. SPCA Board Member Jim Eagan of Midwood Financial Services is matching all Giving Tuesday donations, up to $10,000.
"A lot of people hear 'SPCA Serving Erie County,' and they assume that tax dollars are coming to the SPCA, and they may assume that we're part of some larger organization, some national organization, but we're not," Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca told 2 On Your Side. "We're a completely independent organization. So you think of Giving Tuesday, and we rely on donations, Giving Tuesday is vital to an organization like ours."
You can donate to the SPCA Serving Erie County's Giving Tuesday campaign by clicking here.