EDITORIAL: The season of giving

The York Dispatch

Leftovers from last week’s Thanksgiving feast are finally finished off, and now it’s time to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season.

No, it’s not the season of door-busters and “insane” deals, but we understand why you would think that.

Although its creep into actual holiday family time seems to have slowed or receded, Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season, is as popular as ever, as much a part of Thanksgiving for some people as turkey and stuffing.

Bob Pullo, a Give Local York contributor, talks with Nicole Shaffer of the United Way after a news conference announcing the launch of Give Local York at PeoplesBank Park on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. The event is a 24-hour fundraising event scheduled for May 4, 2018, to benefit nonprofit organizations. Give Local York is headed by the nonprofit York Federal Fellows Alumni. The fundraising goal for the daylong event is $1 million. An information session will be held Dec. 13 at DreamWrights Center for Community Arts. Bill Kalina photo

But this really is the season of giving, which doesn’t necessarily have to mean buying.

More:After weeks of deals, stores aim to draw Black Friday crowds

Local nonprofits will be joining others across the world Tuesday, Nov. 28, in a coordinated attempt to tap the community’s charitable spirit.

Giving Tuesday, known online and beyond by its ubiquitous hashtag, started about six years ago as an effort to change the way people think about and take part in the giving season, organizers say.

People are encouraged to give in "better, smarter" ways to be more effective in improving their communities. Organizers hope to create a "national moment" around Giving Tuesday that's as well-known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

More:York nonprofits aim to raise $1 million in 24-hour bonanza

The giving spirit is alive and well in our area, where the York County Community Foundation estimates residents donated more than $18.2 million in 2015.

As with Giving Tuesday, organizers of Give Local York hope the inaugural event in May helps focus that generosity during a marathon fundraising drive.

From midnight through 11:59 p.m. May 4, 2018, hundreds of nonprofits across the county will vie for donations made through the Give Local York website.

Organizers and York Federal Fellows Alumni Association members are hoping to raise at least $1 million for 200 nonprofits in the 24-hour period, said Meagan Feeser, the event’s main coordinator.

The idea of bringing a day of giving to York County has been tossed around since Lancaster’s Extraordinary Give began in 2012, but more official conversations have been ongoing for the past two years, she said.

With Lancaster County’s sixth annual Extraordinary Give event raising $8.6 million in 24 hours Friday, Nov. 17, raising $1 million in an “extremely generous community” is a good, attainable goal to set for York County nonprofits, Feeser said.

“It may sound like a lot … but I think it’s doable,” she said. “I would love to blow that number out of the water.”

Give Local York organizers will hold a workshop Dec. 13 for nonprofits interested in participating in the event. The workshop will run from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, 100 Carlisle Ave., York City.

For those who want to donate to those nonprofits, stay tuned for more information as the May 4, 2018, event date nears.

And for some practice, visit www.givingtuesday.org tomorrow and search for local organizations that will help put your kindness to work helping others now and throughout the year.