Group asks people ‘to do good’ and help those struggling
The community is being encouraged to think of those less fortunate to mark Giving Tuesday today.
The annual event, which is held in more than 150 countries, seeks to raise awareness of charities in the run-up to the holiday season and to encourage people to do good.
Myra Virgil, managing director of the Bermuda Community Foundation, said: “It’s coincidence that it is scheduled to follow those days of rampant spending — Black Friday and Cyber Monday — and precedes the excesses of Christmas.
“It is considered a perfect moment for us to reflect on whether everyone is having fun at this special time of the year.”
Ms Virgil said that the holiday season can be “crushingly depressing” for those who are struggling financially.
She said: “When you’re out of work, you have no money, you’re exhausted, a family member is struggling with addiction, have health issues or can’t even put enough food on the table let alone buy Christmas gifts for your loved ones — and all around you is music, laughter, festivity, merrymaking — that’s bleak.”
Last year, almost $150,000 was donated to charities through the foundation in the week of Giving Tuesday.
Ms Virgil said: “The funding was certainly needed. The not-for-profit sector suffers from a critical lack of resources in this challenging financial climate, and yet they provide our island with essential services, many of them needed more than ever.
“They are no longer ‘nice-to-have’ amenities, but in some cases the primary service providers for essential services.
“Make no mistake, we will all bear the brunt if there are no organisations taking care of children, feeding people, supporting families in need and young people at risk, monitoring our environment, fostering the arts, conducting field research and training people on how to deliver this important work.
“What kind of a community will we be then? Arguably, one that is unsafe, unhealthy and soulless.”
In the past month, the foundation has provided free workshops for non-profits to help them to prepare for the giving season by making themselves available and accessible to donors.
Ms Virgil said: “We recommend GiveBermuda.org, a local platform that enables people to search for not-for-profits by name, cause or keyword.”