The Downtown BIA used today’s Giving Tuesday to encourage everyone to put aside this past weekend’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events and focus on helping those around you.
The Camphill Store, located at 111 Dunlop St. E., was full of representatives from different local charities who were on hand to talk about their organizations.
Kristen Eatch, the creative communications person for the BIA, said today was all about the community and making people aware of those who need help this season.
“We enjoy getting our local shops together with some local charities for meet and greet events like this today so as to not just draw attention to our beautiful downtown, but also draw attention to those organizations who are looking for a little help this time of year,” said Eatch. “It isn’t even just financial help, though that is obviously very appreciated by the organizations, but also just awareness that they are here and doing what they can in our community.”
Eatch also told BarrieToday that Giving Tuesday doesn’t have to be just one day and hopes others will help out when they can.
“It is a great social media thing to have the Giving Tuesday hashtag on a day like today but if we were to help year-round it would be a much better community for everyone to live in,” said Eatch.
On hand for the event were representatives from Camphill Communities, which provides opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to live, learn and work together. The Camphill Store showcases the products, crafts and art made by Camphill residents.
Today's event also brought attention to Hospice Simcoe, Seasons Centre for Grieving Children, Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, the Women & Children’s Shelter, Youth Haven, Barrie Out of the Cold, the David Busby Street Centre, Rock 95 & Kool FM Toy Drive, Barrie Food Bank and COPE Service Dogs.
Connie Cookson, from COPE Service Dogs, told BarrieToday that these little community events drive the organization and says that without them, organizations like COPE wouldn’t be around.
“COPE is a 100 per cent not-for-profit organization so we rely heavily on donations and fundraising as a way to operate our program like K-9’s In The Classroom and of course raising and training service dogs,” said Cookson. “All of the events that are put on by community members to support our program really are the backbone of our program.
"We really rely on small businesses support as well as larger businesses for corporate sponsorship so we’re very thankful for the BIA and Camphill Store for putting this on.”