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Giving Tuesday: Consider donating to local nonprofits this holiday season

What was once Black Friday has turned into more of a Black-Thursday-and-Friday, with large chain retailers opening their doors to post-Thanksgiving sales as early as 5 p.m. on Thursday, barely a moment before the Thanksgiving dinner dishes have been loaded into the dishwasher. Saturday is Small Business Saturday, dedicated to shopping small and supporting local independent businesses, while Monday is, of course, Cyber Monday, where shoppers can explore deals and discounts from all over the world without having to leave their living room.

With all those days dedicated to getting, in 2012 it was decided that there would be at least one day dedicated to giving: Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday celebrates philanthropy and donating to worthy nonprofits and causes throughout the United States. Many small communities around the country have their own locally-focused offshoots of Giving Tuesday, and on Delmarva, that offshoot is Shore Gives More, an online donation campaign by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) in support of local nonprofits and fundraisers. 

This Giving Tuesday, there will be 98 nonprofits listed on the Shore Gives More website, a substantial increase from the 23 that were listed when the campaign was first launched in 2015. That year, the 23 nonprofits raised $7,500. In 2017, the 80 nonprofits listed raised a total of $164,000. 

Participating nonprofits are given access to online fundraising platforms, marketing campaigns, and incentive prizes, provided at no cost to the nonprofits. On the online donation portal, donors can quickly learn about each individual nonprofit and donate as much as they want in one checkout (the minimum donation required if $10; there is, of course, no maximum). 

“The campaign is truly a collaborative effort,” said CFES President Erica Joseph. “Each nonprofit works hard to make their fundraising goals a reality, and months of preparations are put in before the big day. Our primary sponsors, Pohanka Community Partners Program and 47 ABC, provide invaluable support which allows the event to be a success. Additional incentive prizes for nonprofits are provided by the Hershey Family Fund and the Perdue Family Fund at CFES.”

The 98 local nonprofits range from heritage foundations and healthcare centers to ministries and rehabilitation centers. Their advocacies are wide-ranging, as seen in the examples below, which are only the tip of the iceberg; See the full list of not-for-profit institutions and fundraisers here, and consider giving back to your community in the spirit of the holiday season this Giving Tuesday. 

The Art League of Ocean City

The Art League is a local non-profit whose gallery features two floors of exhibits, artist studios, a pottery studio and classrooms. They hold art classes, a kids’ summer camps, annual events like the Sand Castle Home Tour and the Ocean City Film Festival, and a monthly opening reception that’s free and open to the public. Their mission statement is, simply put, to promote artistic expression and appreciation for the creative arts in the local community. You can donate to the Art League of Ocean City on their website.

Assateague Island Alliance

The Assateague Island Alliance (AIA) is a non-profit that formed in 2008 to provide direct support for the scientific, education, interpretation and recreation programs at Assateague Island National Seashore. Patrons can get involved with AIA by becoming a member, volunteering or making a donation on AIA’s website. Pony lovers can get involved by fostering a horse, where their donation will directly support Assateague’s wild horse management program, or by participating in a “Name That Foal” auction

Atlantic General Hospital

 Atlantic General Hospital (AGH) is a not-for-profit hospital in Berlin, Md that’s locally owned and managed by a board of directors; built in 1993, the hospital provides healthcare and emergency services to residents of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia’s shore. On Giving Tuesday, or on any day of the year, people can donate gifts in support of the AGH program of their choosing, including the Regional Cancer Care Center, the Fall Golf Classic, the annual Penguin Swim, the Campaign for the Future and more, and they can also be donated as a tribute. Donations are accepted on the AGH website

Delmarva Public Radio 

Delmarva Public Radio, or DPR, is the region’s local NPR station based out of Salisbury, Md. DPR provides programming that ranges from music and arts to national news and current events, and they’re always expanding their repertoire to provide the best programming to residents of the Shore (their latest addition, Beer Notes, is the first craft beer-centered program to be syndicated nationally on NPR stations, and it’s made right on Delmarva). Supporters of DPR can donate to the station on their website, and even receive gifts like a recycled journal, a classical CD bundle and a BirdNote calendar just for making a donation. 

Maryland Coastal Bays

The Maryland Coastal Bays Project (MCBP) is a non-profit partnership between the towns of Ocean City and Berlin, the National Park Service (NPS), Worcester County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Planning. They work to protect the local watershed, including the coastal bays behind Ocean City and Assateague Island (the St. Martin River, Newport Bay, Assawoman Bay, Isle of Wight Bay, Sinepuxent Bay and Chincoteague Bay).

On Giving Tuesday, MCBP will host a wine and oyster tasting at the West O Bottle Shop in West Ocean City, and each person that donates $10 to MCBP at the event will be entered into a raffle to receive a basket of goodies. You can also simply donate to MCBP on their website.

Ocean City Development Corporation

Ocean City Development Corp. (OCDC) is dedicated to revitalizing downtown Ocean City; “We envision an economically sound and socially healthy downtown Ocean City, Maryland,” says their Vision Statement, “Where revitalization has capitalized on the positive aspects of the area to create a sense of character, charm, and community for both residents and visitors.” OCDC’s programs include the Facade Improvement Program which has benefitted many buildings downtown, and public art programs that range from murals to sculptures to painted utility boxes. You can donate to OCDC on their website

The Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

There is a litany of ways to support the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, the historic building that once served as a life-saving station for the Coast Guard and is now a museum depicting “The Tides & Times of Ocean City, Maryland.” Supporters can become a member of the museum (only $5 for students, $10 for individuals and $30 for families, which will then get you free admission into the museum!), or participate in the annual Storm Warriors 5k Run/Walk, make a purchase in the gift shop, volunteer with the museum or make a donation to the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. 

Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.

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