Giving Tuesday provides ‘essential’ boost for local nonprofits

  • From left, Merrill Gagne, owner of Gagne Wealth Management Group, delivers a $10,000 check to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and the North Quabbin on Tuesday. Posing with the check is outgoing Executive Director Irene Woods and board of directors President Bill Benson. STAFF PHOTO/Mary Byrne

  • Mollie Hartford, development and outreach director with It Takes a Village, sets up a display of baby items in 2019. Hartford said Giving Tuesday is as much about fundraising as it is about celebrating the different ways community members can contribute to area nonprofits. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/30/2022 6:50:59 PM
Modified: 11/30/2022 6:48:36 PM

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year, comes Giving Tuesday, a day set aside for giving back to the community’s nonprofits.

“It’s essential for all nonprofits,” said Artspace Community Arts Center Music Director Julie Carew. “In the area, there are lots of us trying to make things accessible for the people in the community.”

Carew said at Artspace on Mill Street in Greenfield, income from classes and rental space, as well as grants, isn’t always enough to “keep the lights on.” The community art center continues to accept donations online at

“Every little bit really, really helps us out,” Carew said.

Also in Greenfield, Gagne Wealth Management Group owner Merrill Gagne dropped off a check for $10,000 on Tuesday made out to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin. He first donated $10,000 last year and committed to making the same donation annually for 10 years, a total of $100,000.

“I think there are a lot of organizations that want money and help, but the CAC is one of those organizations that’s still in its infancy, but the impact … over the last four or five years has been big and great,” Gagne said.

Outgoing Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Irene Woods said donations like Gagne’s offer more spending flexibility than state or federal grants.

“We have families that socially, economically cannot do certain things,” she said. “Sometimes, we even have to buy gas cards for them so they can get their kids to here from the Athol or North Quabbin area, or buy a winter coat.”

Such donations can also be used to help a family take a class at the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts in Turners Falls, for example.

“Merrill has helped us wrap services around every child,” Woods said.

Bill Benson, president of the Children’s Advocacy Center’s board of directors, noted that in addition to grants and other forms of state and federal funding, donations make up a “significant portion” of the center’s finances.

“It gives us the opportunity to do things for kids and families that are not part of public grants,” he said.

Donations can continue to be made online at

It Takes a Village, a Huntington-based nonprofit that provides free postpartum supplies to families in Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire counties, also encouraged the community to participate in Giving Tuesday, the organization’s biggest fundraising day of the year.

“Giving Tuesday is a worldwide day of charity and philanthropy,” said Mollie Hartford, development and outreach director at It Takes a Village. “After the big ‘getting’ days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we take the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to encourage everyone to give back where they can.”

The organization’s donation center, The Village Closet, hosted a special volunteer day on Tuesday.

Hartford said Giving Tuesday is as much about fundraising as it is about celebrating the different ways community members can contribute.

“You can give your time by volunteering,” she said. “You can give your expertise by helping a nonprofit behind the scenes. You can give your voice by sharing posts or telling your friends and family about why you support a certain cause.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.


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