Add #GivingTuesday to holiday checklist

So, you have plans for enjoying Thanksgiving Day with family, friends and a big dinner. Check.

You have plans for shopping Friday for family and friends on Black Friday. Check.

You have plans to make some more purchases when you Shop Small at local businesses that Saturday. Check.

And you have plans for yet more shopping online during Cyber Monday. Check.

That it? Well, we hope not.

The Community Foundation of Jackson County asks that you consider giving to local charities — including the endowment funds we administer — on #GivingTuesday, this year set for Nov. 29.

The event is an international effort to direct attention to the needs of charitable programs here at home and around the world during a time when so many folks seem more attuned to spending on wishes and wants rather than the needs of others.

#GivingTuesday, however, can be — and really should be — about much more than one day each Christmas and holiday season. We ask that you consider pledging to do more next year. Perhaps give a certain amount every month to a charity, such as Community Provisions, or pledge to volunteer every month with an organization such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or maybe Anchor House.

We hope that #GivingTuesday spurs you to help others through bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during this upcoming holiday season and throughout the coming year. You could make a donation in a loved one’s name rather than buying them yet another bow tie, blouse or blender.

Or you could start a new fund in the memory of a loved one, perhaps one that benefits a particular charity or church or provides general granting for community needs. The Foundation has matching dollars available for the creation of new funds as we plan to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2017. Call me at 812-523-4483 and we can talk about that opportunity. And by the way, we’re planning a Silver Anniversary bash the night of April 8, 2017. Be sure to save the date.

We ask that you consider making gifts to the Foundation’s unrestricted funds. The earnings from the funds help finance our Fall Grant cycle, when charitable organizations across our community apply for grants to help with important programming needs that touch the lives of people of all ages in all corners of the county. Just last month, the Foundation awarded 18 Fall Grants totaling more than $38,000.

You could also make a donation on #GivingTuesday to any of our more than 140 other endowed funds, including those that finance scholarships each spring or benefit area agencies such as the Jackson County History Center, the Jackson County Public Library, Boys & Girls Club of Seymour, Girls Inc. of Jackson County, Turning Point, Child Care Network and Jackson County United Way.

I’d be happy to speak with you about donating to one of the funds or perhaps starting your own. Either way, your gifts to endowed funds can benefit others in perpetuity, a gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving to help make a difference.

We also encourage you to keep an eye out for the Foundation’s annual Holiday Gift Guide. It includes a list of all of the Foundation’s funds and offers information about how to give. Information about #GivingTuesday and gifting opportunities may be found on our website and our Facebook page.

Thank you, and on behalf of the foundation staff and our Board of Directors, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.

Dan Davis is President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The Foundation administers more than 140 funds with assets of more than $10 million. For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the Foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Dan Davis at president@cfjacksoncounty.org.