CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Alisha Street’s nonprofit The Bulb brings fresh produce to neighborhoods where it could be hard to find.
But now, she needs donations more than ever because of financial hits many have taken during COVID-19.
“COVID hit in March,” Street said on Giving Tuesday. “As soon as that happened, we needed more food as there was immediately more demand.”
North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall tracks charitable giving in the state and through June 30 and said it had increased.
But since then, the pandemic has tightened its grip on many living on the edge.
“My sense is that the need is strong and growing stronger every day,” Marshall said.
The need is greater than ever at Charlotte Rescue Mission, and officials said donations have been strong.
“We have seen incredible generosity -- the giving of money and of time,” said Sharon Bremer, chief development officer. “And people just wanting to help any way that they can.”
Donations to various charities and to the less fortunate are part of the holiday spirit, whether it is through a food drive or a collection kettle.
"Giving Tuesday" falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year.
Officials said charities in the United States receive one-third of their annual donations during the holiday season, starting around Thanksgiving and "Giving Tuesday."
Each year, the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance evaluates charities seeking donations and research them on their charity trustworthiness.
BBB officials said they encourage potential donors to use these evaluations to determine the organizations trustworthiness so that your hard-earned dollars go to charities that operate ethically.
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau and Action 9 to make the most of your holiday donations.
GIVING TUESDAY TIPS:
- Watch out for name similarities
- Check sites like Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator and/or Guidestar
- Research how much the charity spends on the cause compared to overhead and salaries
- Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations
- Be wary of emotional appeals
- Avoid charities that don't disclose requested information
- Rely on standards-based evaluations
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