Giving Tuesday inspires donations to needy - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Giving Tuesday inspires donations to needy

Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS -

A drive along Meridian Street just north of downtown Indianapolis is a good sign of the need in central Indiana.  The United Way headquarters just north of 38th Street posts the goal for its annual campaign at $42.5 million.  Down the street at the Salvation Army, it's $3.2 million for the Red Kettle Christmas campaign. 

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is designated "Giving Tuesday".  It's a way to inspire businesses, schools, municipalities and individuals to remember those in need.  One area where you can quickly gauge a community's need is at the local food pantry. 

Nationwide, NBC News reports record runs on food banks this year - up three million over last year.  Cuts in the food stamp program and unemployment may be to blame.

In Indiana, according to the Gleaners Food Bank website, one in six Hoosiers struggles with hunger.  Many of them are children.  More than 16 percent of Hoosiers need food assistance at some time.

Shay Merritt with Second Helpings adds, "Emergency food pantries are becoming sustaining food pantries where families are making ends meet by actually going to a food pantry once a month to get a free week's worth of groceries."

Shelters are also seeing an increase in the need for help.  "This year and last, we're just seeing a balloon in the number of men and women and children that we're sheltering," explains Eric Gardner, director of Men's  Ministries at Wheeler Mission.  "Our women's shelter, usually we have an off season through warm months but our women's shelter has been full all year."

Charitable organizations utilize Giving Tuesday as a day to promote their services and the need for donations and volunteers.

Links to give:

Www.givingtuesday.org

Www.salvationarmyusa.org

Www.uwci.org

Www.secondhelpings.org

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