DETROIT (WXYZ) — Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea. Remind people what the holiday season is all about on the Tuesday that comes after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Encourage them to give to charity, and then share it on-line with the #unselfie.
“In a selfie world, reminding people there is something larger than themselves individually is a really good thing,” said Pat Piskulich, Oakland University’s Director of the Master of Public Administration Program, which offers non-profit management training.
WXYZ went to the university’s experts for perspective on what you need to know before you give. They say be wary of charities that cold-call you with a high pressure pitch.
“The ones that just call you on the phone. They harass you. They want you to give them your information,” said Suzanne Rossi, the Coordinator of the MPA Program.
“They want your credit card. I don’t give out that information on the phone to them,” said Piskulich.
They say research before you donate on-line.
“If you really want to get forensic, you can go online and look at folks’ 990s,” said Michael Westfall, the Vice President of University Advancement.
Or even better, do your research in person.
“How you know is by volunteering and knowing them as people,” said Rossi.
“I could tell you miracle after miracle that has happened here,” said Kent Clark, the CEO of Michigan’s oldest and largest homeless shelter, the Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac.
Clark says if you come volunteer you will meet some of the 100 men, 100 women and about 80 children served. You will hear their stories.
“I have been taught how to be a mom, how to love without limits and it didn’t just save me. It saved her,” said Dorothy Burt.
Dorothy Burt says she came to Grace for help overcoming addiction when her daughter was 6-months-old. She didn’t know how to build better after surviving abuse as a child.
“Sexual, physical, emotional. I didn’t have a mom or dad. I started using at a young age. It is all I knew. Through the streets and things I decided to do, through prostitution Ellie was conceived,” said Burt.
She has now gone through the program and stayed, working to help others coming for help.
“I am able to work with these kids coming in and hurting just like I was,” she said. “It is for a child who didn’t have a choice. This place is for everyone. Men, women, young, old. They welcome everyone and they love us all the same.”
Dorothy shared her story to inspire and help others what all are called to do on Giving Tuesday. You can learn more about the new holiday at https://www.givingtuesday.org. You can also check out many charities at https://www.charitynavigator.org.