Giving Tuesday typically happens around the holidays, but the movement launched an additional Giving Tuesday on May 5, 2020 in response to COVID 19.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that encourages people to give back. Local 22/44 spoke with a few non-profits who are participating.

Julianne Eagan is a big sister to her little Arianna through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a mentorship program to support young people. Eagan said it is something she has wanted to do for a long time.

” I think the mentor mentee relationship is so important in general. Every child deserves to have a mentor and I think Big Brothers Big Sisters really promotes that idea,” said Eagan.

Eagan said it’s been difficult to do the things she normally does with her little due to the pandemic.

“Now that we have been through this event and we are still living through it, we are going to really have to as a community come together to support our young people,” said Eagan.

Like many organizations Big Brothers Big sisters of Vermont has been financially impacted by COVID- 19. That is why it’s taking part in Giving Tuesday.  This spring edition allows the community to donate to organizations online.

“We’re looking at about a $60,000 deficit. We want to make sure that not only before, during, and after situations like this. We want to be able to be supporting our youth throughout their learning and development and having a mentor is extremely important,” said executive director Kimberley Diemond.

Hundreds of Vermont non-profits are participating in giving Tuesday.  Also, among them is the Special Olympics Vermont.  The Special Olympics s Vermont’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.

“A little bit over 90% of our operational budget… we raise every dollar of that,” said CEO and President of Special Olympics VT Missy Shea.

Non- profits like the Special Olympics and Big Brothers Big Sisters rely on fundraising and in person events to get by.

“In addition to having to cancel our athlete engagement events like games and events, we’ve also had to cancel our fundraising events. So, we are feeling a lot of effects of COVID -19.  We have pushed our programming online, but we need all the support we can get,” said Shea.

 You can find a list of Vermont organizations participating here.