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Mayor, councillors start countdown to Giving Tuesday (3 photos)

City staff, all Saultites encouraged to donate to annual charity

Building on Sault Ste. Marie’s reputation as a caring community, Mayor Christian Provenzano, joined by Ward 2 councillors Luke Dufour and Lisa Vezeau-Allen at the Civic Centre, announced the city’s first formal participation in Giving Tuesday, to be held Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Giving Tuesday is a Canada-wide day of giving, initiated in 2013, held on the first Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, during which people may contribute what they are able to donate to their favourite causes online.

Friday’s Civic Centre announcement stemmed from city council's recent approval of a resolution put forward by Dufour and Vezeau-Allen, calling for Sault Ste. Marie to get involved, on an official basis, in Giving Tuesday.

“We live in a very caring community and I think these city councillors are a demonstration of that. This, in my opinion, is over and above their role as city councillors, and they really wanted to initiate something in our community to help people have an avenue to give back. I think it’s a great sign of leadership and it’s a great sign of their kindness and the care they have for our community,” Provenzano said, speaking to an audience gathered in the Civic Centre lobby.

“My part of the resolution came through some of my previous volunteerism at St. Vincent Place,” Dufour said.

“Going into the Christmas season, I’ve been working with a number of other individuals in the community to raise money for Christmas gifts for our Christmas dinner, and in the past few years we’ve been really looking at a way we can enable the younger demographic to participate and join in our efforts, so Giving Tuesday’s ability to donate online is a way to meet that goal.”

“I would like to thank city staff for their leadership and initiative in Giving’s a completely online giving portal, so you don’t have to go to an event or buy a ticket, you just need a credit card to give online,” Vezeau-Allen said.

Individuals interested in donating to their favourite causes may visit the Giving Tuesday website and follow the links.

Once on the website, pick Sault Ste. Marie and you’ll find the list of charities that are registered.

Organizations need to have an online giving mechanism, and must be registered as a charity with Canada Revenue Agency, an online giving tool easily obtained through Canada Helps (also accessible online), Vezeau-Allen said.

Dufour and Vezeau-Allen unveiled the countdown clock to Giving Tuesday in the Civic Centre lobby.

“I think it’s important just to get visibility for non-profits out there, and as well it gives a way for people who are from here and no longer live here to give back online to the community in a very seamless, easy way online,” said Vezeau-Allen, speaking to SooToday.

“Giving Tuesday is pretty well established in the U.S. and it’s definitely increasing in capacity here in Canada and I think it’s important for us to be involved.”

Though a countdown clock to Dec. 3 has been set up, people may start donating anytime leading up to that date.

“It kicks off the giving season. December is traditionally the month where charities see the greatest amount of funds collected,” Vezeau-Allen said.

“We talked about a goal (in terms of dollars given for Giving Tuesday) and because it’s our first year I recommended not having a goal. We don’t want to put the pressure on the charities and the donors. Let’s put it out there and see what happens and next year we can set a goal based on our inaugural year.”

While the City of Sault Ste. Marie has no specific charities picked for Giving Tuesday, Vezeau-Allen said Grocer 4 Good Ability Development Program, a new charity store she developed on Gore Street to support marginalized groups, as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters and THRIVE Child Development Centre are causes which mean a great deal to her on a personal basis.

“I encourage anyone to take a look at the portal and encourage all local charities to get a page up on Giving Tuesday, and let’s celebrate all the great work that’s getting done with our local charities,” Vezeau-Allen said.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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