In 2017, Giving Tuesday raised over $300 million across 150 countries. Giving Tuesday may be a recent phenomenon, elevated by social media and increasing connectivity, but at its heart, Giving Tuesday taps into an inherent value we are all capable of: kindness.

A community, at its core, is made up of individuals. We know that we are stronger when we help lift each other up. While unemployment is low, thousands in northwestern Wisconsin are finding it hard to keep afloat. Many are juggling two or three jobs but are stilling struggling to pay the bills.

Many more, including thousands of children in our community, face challenges with food insecurity. Over 8,600 children were eligible for the federal school lunch program in community school districts last year. About one in four FoodShare recipients are ten years old or younger, with 43 percent of all recipients being minors. Among all FoodShare recipients, 25 percent are elderly, blind, or disabled; 30 percent of these recipients receive $20 per month or less to assist with food expenditures.

This Giving Tuesday, we have a choice to make about what kind of community we hope to be. Please consider donating to a local food shelf or supporting our local non-profits. We can all play a part to help support those struggling in our community.