ST. GEORGE – Utah is collecting and donating thousands of socks this year for Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving observed in the U.S. on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Now in its fourth year, the Giving Tuesday campaign is fueled by the power of social media.
Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s Office is showing gratitude by lending a helping hand as part of Giving Tuesday — known by the hashtag #GivingTuesday — a worldwide movement encouraging generosity and small acts of kindness.
“#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities,” according to the campaign’s website. “It provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges.”
The Governor’s Office collects thousands of socks each year during its annual holiday sock drive. Herbert said the office is off to a good start this year and he hopes to beat last year’s record of 2,803 pairs of donated socks.
For nine straight years, Utah has been recognized as the number one state in the nation for volunteerism, proving that in Utah, giving is more than a holiday tradition — it’s a way of life.
Gov. Herbert said he is proud that people in Utah care about their neighbors and believe in a moral obligation to assist those who are struggling.
“Everyone has something to give,” Herbert said. “I encourage Utahns to share their blessings with those in need, whether by charitable donations or acts of service, and not just on Giving Tuesday but throughout the year.”
In 2014, for the ninth consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service ranked Utah first in the nation for voluntarism, with more than 900,000 volunteers serving approximately 154.9 million total hours.
Research from the 2014 Volunteering and Civic Life in America report ranks Utah as the No. 1 volunteering state in the nation with 45.3 percent of adults volunteering.
The total economic value of volunteer service in Utah was $3.5 billion based on the independent sector annual estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, which was $22.65 in 2013.
Looking for ways you can give back this Tuesday? Here are a few suggestions:
- The Forgotten Patient Christmas Project provides sponsors with information about patients at Utah State Hospital for whom they can provide gifts. This program has been in place for the past 70 years.
- The Utah Office of Public Guardian provides guardianship or conservatorship services to adults who are unable to make basic life decisions for themselves. The majority of the clients they serve live in nursing or group homes and have no family in their lives. Their needs are simple (bedding, socks, slippers, sweats, gift cards, etc.) and their gratitude is endless.
- The Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund provides vital services and assistance to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
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