After stuffing ourselves full of turkey, what do we do? We shop Black Friday deals, we shop small on Saturday (and every day), and Cyber Monday price-cuts. It’s not all about us, though, right? Meet “Giving Tuesday,” a day that’s dedicated to philanthropy and community involvement since 2012. It began at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y, an active cultural center since 1874.

The Giving Tuesday website (as linked above) shared that the movement drew in $116.7 million raised online last year, involving more than 700,000 people in seventy-one countries, and receiving almost one and a half million social media mentions. Are you wondering how you can get involved in Giving Tuesday? Don’t worry, you are in the right place. Read on for more than a few ideas.

Where to Make Donations in Indiana for Giving Tuesday 

Dig In in Indianapolis supports the local food community

Dig IN in Indianapolis supports the local food community

Larger, nationally-known organizations will receive plenty of donations, but what about the Indiana-specific community programs that could use a hand? That’s where your donations come in. Organizations like Second Helpings or Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana are a great place to start, but you can take it even further. Browse through a list of places that are a part of #givingTuesday.

How can you narrow down the list? Think about the places that have left an impact. They are the places that, after you visit them, you bring them up in conversations, you reminisce with the kids, and you can’t wait until you can make a return trip.

Maybe it’s something that provides a worthy service, like WTIU, which is not only the home of the Little Indiana PBS segments but also the fabulous show “the Weekly Special,” and a host of phenomenal programming. You can easily donate to Indiana Public Media right here.

#GivingTuesday in Indiana

Link Observatory in Martinsville, Indiana is hoping to raise funding to supplement area school's STEM program.

Link Observatory in Martinsville, Indiana is hoping to raise funding to supplement area school’s STEM program.

One of my favorite places in Indiana could also use your help: Link Observatory. I know, it isn’t on the site yet–I’m planning a return trip for a better shot and a chance to take in one of the lectures–but they are an incredible Indiana night attraction. You will not believe your eyes. The Link Observatory frequently hosts evening events that educate, and inspire (and include a bit of night sky stargazing). Central Indiana schools have taken note.

Right now, the Link Observatory is striving to raise an extra $15,000 in donations so they can help fill in the STEM gap of some of these schools. It will allow them to share the wonders of nature and expand their program for middle and high school students.

Niches Land Trust, an organization that offers fantastic natural spaces in several counties (we love the Holley Savannah), Sycamore Land Trust (handles southern Indiana locales), Dig In works to grow the local food community and would appreciate your support, as would any of those small town museums you know and love.

Taltree Arboretum and Gardens in Valparaiso shared this Facebook Post:

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday! Join people nation-wide as they donate time and money to charities and non-profits. You can support Taltree Arboretum & Gardens with volunteering, donations, or through memberships!
Post a picture of your support with the hashtags #unselfie and #taltree to share your giving story!

Indiana Travel

Grant County wouldn’t mind any support you throw their way. Your donations go towards programs like Young Entrepreneurs Program, Grant for Grads, and Grant’s Got Talent under the Growth Council and Grant County. You can mail a check to the Grant County Economic Growth Council, with the memo line: #givingtuesday to 301 S Adams Street, Marion IN, 46952. If they update the page with a new link to accept online payments, please let me know.

The Jasper and Newton County Foundation shared this little blurb on the Jasper and Newton County Foundation Facebook Page regarding Giving Tuesday donations:

“It’s #GIVINGTUESDAY!!! Stop in the Carnegie Center and pick up a gift box when you make a donation to the Jasper Foundation or Newton County Community Foundation. This is a great way to give a gift to that hard-to-buy-for family member or community-conscious friend. This is a gift that keeps on giving.”

Holley Savannah is a part of NICHE Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that protects Indiana land.

Holley Savannah is a part of NICHE Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that protects Indiana land.

For Historic Newburgh, your Giving Tuesday funds can help:

  • Support Historic Preservation efforts in Downtown Newburgh.
  • Enhance the appearance of our Town & provide Lamppost Flower Baskets.
  • Assist in operating the Visitor Center to welcome guests to our town.
  • Help promote Historic Newburgh as a destination location for businesses, residents and visitors.

Wolf Park is also seeking your help. I’ll be sharing about this special destination early next year (if I can find my images! Ugh!). For now, you should know that they are a remarkable educational center. This is what your donation can do for the animals of Wolf Park:

  • $15 can feed one fox for one week
  • $50 provides one hay bale for the bison
  • $55 provides a linear foot of chain link for enclosure fencing
  • $75 provides a vaccination for one wolf or coyote

There are so many other worthwhile causes. There’s the Historical Society of Decatur County oh and the Community Foundation of Morgan County is especially hopeful today. Citizens Bank will match any online or in-person donations dollar for dollar. That’s a pretty big deal.

How to Support Giving Tuesday When You Don’t Have a Lot of Money

Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center and Museum in Delphi, Indiana Exterior

Museums, like the Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center and Museum in Delphi, Indiana, would appreciate your donations.

Go beyond a simple donation. While even your dollar donation can help, why not consider making this the day you pledge to join a cause within your community? Make the phone calls, do the web research, and figure out where you belong. Consider looking into volunteer opportunities at your local library, hospital, food pantry, senior citizens center, or humane society.

If you shop at Kroger, you can earn rewards for your community program of choice just for shopping at Kroger. It’s easy to enroll in the Kroger Community Awards Program. There are a variety of different organizations that you may choose among. I’ve earmarked rewards to return to our youngest son’s school PTO.

Now, if the Johnson County Humane Society joins, that’s another venue I would consider (we adopted two fantastic orange kitties after two of ours went missing after we moved. The people there were absolutely wonderful). Anyway, it’s a simple process and a worthwhile one.

Every little bit helps. Contributing a small amount is better than contributing nothing. Don’t just sit there. Do something. Support something. Speak up. Get involved. And, above all, love where you live.

I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.