NEW ORLEANS (CNS) — The sixth annual #iGiveCatholic Giving Day, which will benefit nearly 2,500 Catholic organizations in the United States, takes place Dec. 1 this year.
“#iGiveCatholic offers communities across the country an opportunity to participate in #GivingTuesday in a way that specifically supports and celebrates Catholic parishes, schools and nonprofit ministries,” said Cory J. Howat, president of the #iGiveCatholic organization, which is based in New Orleans.
“Since we launched this initiative five years ago, we have seen tremendous growth in the number of participants and the amount of funds raised,” he said in a news release announcing this year’s Giving Day. “We hope to exceed that once again this year.”
The #iGiveCatholic website, www.igivecatholic.org, has information about the dioceses, parishes, schools and nonprofit ministries participating in this year’s campaign. Those interested in donating may search the website by diocese, organization name or cause — religion, education, poverty and hunger, etc.
Anyone can participate in #iGiveCatholic by visiting the website and making a minimum $25 online donation to their preferred institution or organization Dec. 1. “In addition, offline gifts in any amount are welcome and appreciated and may be sent directly to the participating organizations,” the news release said.
Leading up to Dec. 1, #iGiveCatholic launched an advanced Giving Day phase Nov. 16 to accept donations. This early giving period continues through Nov. 30.
Organizers of #iGiveCatholicGiving Day see it as a kick-off to the charitable season, and it “brings the Catholic community together to give thanks and give back on #GivingTuesday,” the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States.
Giving Tuesday is a movement that initially was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, a community center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and the United Nations Foundation, as a response to the consumerism they felt is represented by the post-Thanksgiving shopping days known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In a “normal” year, Catholic organizations serve communities across the country through churches and schools, food programs for the hungry, rental assistance and shelter for those in need, medical care and tuition assistance, among many other services, Howat said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “this kind of compassionate care has been especially critical at a time when so many have been affected — physically, spiritually and economically — by the global pandemic,” he added.
In addition to the parishes, schools and ministries of the 40 U.S. dioceses that are participating this year, 15 national ministries have joined the effort, and 160 schools across the country will take part independently with the support of the National Catholic Educational Association.
Last year, #iGiveCatholic raised more than $7.4 million from nearly 23,000 donors to support schools, parishes and nonprofit ministries in dioceses across the country.
“By harnessing the spirit of generosity inspired by #GivingTuesday, #iGiveCatholic presents a unique platform for individual donors to maximize their impact in support of Catholic schools, parishes and nonprofit ministries,” said Kyle Hamilton, CEO of Our Sunday Visitor, which is the initiative’s national sponsor again this year.
People also can connect with #iGiveCatholic on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram(@iGiveCatholic), and share posts by using #iGiveCatholic.