TYLER, Texas — The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become known as
"Giving Tuesday." It's a day meant to encourage people to use their voice, time or money to help nonprofits in the community.
The pandemic has increased the need for the services these organizations provide. John Berry with the United Way of Smith County says working closely with nonprofits during this time showed that something needed to be done to give back to those groups who do so much.
"We wanted to help them [nonprofits] even more and our answer to that was to create Tyler Gives," he explained.
On Giving Tuesday, the United Way will kick off its Tyler Gives campaign from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. with a goal of raising at least $50,000. Berry said the community won't be the only one giving either.
"Beginning at 8 o'clock right on the dot, the first $500,000 that is raised will be matched," Berry said. "The needs are increased, therefore more funding is necessary."
A website was created to highlight the nonprofits United Way will give money to after a donation is made through its server. Transaction fees will be covered by sponsors so that every penny donated will go to an agency.
There are limitations to ensure the 25 nonprofits highlighted by United Way all receive money. Up to $2,000 will be matched for an individual transaction and up to $20,000 for a single organization.
The Tyler Gives page lists nonprofits including Salvation Army to show what services like education, financial stability, health and wellness, and crisis intervention programs are provided to the community.
Captain Jeremy Walker with the Salvation Army says the holidays are their busiest times and when nonprofits are in need of any help they can get.
"Every time you give, you're helping somebody in need whether it's a senior, somebody just need to get back on their feet, somebody having problems with drug and alcohol, just whatever that is, we're here serving 365 days a year," Walker said. "We need folks to give up their time, give their donations, you know every penny counts."
For those who want to help out, but don't have money to give, the Salvation Army and other nonprofits are in need of volunteers throughout the holidays.