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Giving Smart in Illinois on Giving Tuesday

Northern Illinois residents are being asked to help their hungry neighbors for Giving Tuesday. Credit: iStockphoto
Northern Illinois residents are being asked to help their hungry neighbors for Giving Tuesday. Credit: iStockphoto
November 30, 2015

CHICAGO – Now that the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is winding down, the focus Tuesday will be on charitable causes.

Giving Tuesday is a day when Illinoisans are asked to think about giving to strangers who are less fortunate.

Donna Lake, director of communications for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, says one in seven people in the area served by her group doesn't know where his or her next meal is coming from.

Food Bank volunteers will be at the Geneva Metra train station on Tuesday morning to collect donations of food or money.

"Giving Tuesday is one way that we can reach people that maybe didn't know about hunger, but can learn and be educated about hunger in their community, and know that there's an easy way that they can help a neighbor in need," Lake explains.

For Giving Tuesday, all donations to the Food Bank will also be matched by the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation and other donors, up to $30,000.

But if you are in the giving mood this Tuesday, one consumer watchdog is warning people to be aware of charity scammers.

Dan Hendrickson, regional spokesman for the Better Business Bureau, says not every charity is as trustworthy as groups like the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

"Giving Tuesday is a great thing,” he states. “It kind of harnesses the power of social media to highlight charitable giving and the good works people do.

“We're still saying it's important to do your research. Go to give.org, have an understanding of the charity's operations, how they use the money they raise."

The Better Business Bureau lists the Northern Illinois Food Bank as an accredited charity, because it discloses all of its financial information.

Hendrickson says when charities don't do that it could be a red flag for potential donors.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - IL