La Crosse area offers several options for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a national day that falls at the start of the holiday season encouraging people to get into the giving spirit.

It comes after the big spending days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but area organizations hope people still have it in them to give back.

“It’s a special time of year,” said Mary Jacobson, assistant executive director of Catholic Charities. “People tend to open up their hearts and wallets a little more during the holiday season.”

“With all of the push of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this really gives us our own day to remind people to give back and be selfless,” said Rose Reinert, development director for the YWCA of La Crosse.

In addition to a Facebook campaign, the YWCA is partnering with area businesses including Once Upon a Child in hopes of raising money for services such as helping homeless women and abused children. To find out more about Tuesday’s events, click here.

“For us, Giving Tuesday is not just about money,” Reinert said. “It’s more about building relationships and building awareness of the really critical work the YWCA of La Crosse does.”

Catholic Charities is striving to meet its $5,000 goal this Giving Tuesday, and local donations will go to the Franciscan Hospitality House and Warming Center. More information on donating can be found here.

“We have a tremendous amount of clients who use our services throughout the year,” Jacobson said. “The money collected goes to support our organization in providing them with what they need.”

As Catholic Charities helps its clients futures, the Pumphouse Regional Arts Center’s Giving Tuesday campaign is all about the future of learning.

The Pumphouse has a virtual reality system they hope to bring to area classrooms.

“(We plan) to introduce this technology to the community in a way that it’s seen as a tool and not just a form of entertainment,” volunteer Cameron Segura said. “We’ve noticed every time we put this tech in the hands of a teacher, the wheels in their heads start turning and they see a lot of opportunities.”

To find out how to donate, click here.

The American Red Cross has a Giving Tuesday campaign this year as well after a year or multiple natural disasters.

You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to national disaster relief, or go to their website here to keep your money local.

Wherever you choose to spend your money this holiday season, Reinert said, “giving does make a difference.”