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After Black Friday, local charities look to “Giving Tuesday”

Fresh off the Black Friday shopping rush, Palm Beach County nonprofits are hoping to turn shoppers’ attention to a more charitable gifting trend — a day dedicated to raising money for philanthropic causes.

A number of local charities, including the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, will launch social media campaigns or team up with other businesses Tuesday to raise awareness about Giving Tuesday, global fund-raising campaign created to put a spotlight on philanthropy during the holiday shopping season.

Founded by a cultural center in New York City, Giving Tuesday began in 2012 as a way to kick off the charitable giving season. For the fifth year, it will be held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — following the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping rush.

“It is a chance for worthy causes to wrap their mission around a day,” said Matt Levin, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. “People who are investing their dollars with us expect a return on their investment so that they can see their dollars at work. For us, Giving Tuesday is a great way to wrap around that notion of a philanthropic investment.”

Last year, 700,000 people in 70 counties raised over $116 million as part of the annual campaign, according to

Levin said his organization will use social media and email messages to help raise awareness about both Giving Tuesday and how contributions made to the federation help others. Volunteers will also be on hand Tuesday calling area residents, he added.

“For us the investment in giving Tuesday is about both the dollars we raise and how many more people we can bring into the fold and the mission,” Levin said.

Other local nonprofits are partnering with area businesses to help with their fund raising efforts.

Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation is teaming up with The Cooper, a Palm Beach Gardens eatery, to help raise money to provide families access to pediatric health care. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, The Cooper will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to the foundation.

“We are so grateful for this partnership with The Cooper,” said Patty McDonald, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Not only will guests be able to enjoy the amazing food and atmosphere, they’ll also be helping a good cause simply by going out to dinner.”

The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is working with Palm Beach Outlets to raise money. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, the outlets will be offering free pet photos with Santa. A $10 donation is suggested to benefit the rescue league.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach Atlantic University’s admissions office is waiving its $50 application fee and instead encouraging prospective students to donate the money to a local charity. The application fee waiver is good for one-day only.

Some of the university’s students will also gather at 3 p.m. to take to social media as a group in hopes of encouraging others to give.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s office this month urged residents to do their research before donating to a charity and watch for scams as part of the Giving Tuesday campaign.

The office’s website allows potential donors to “Check-A-Charity” before making a contribution. The online tool lets donors view a charity’s financial information and check its current registration status with the state.

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