Nonprofits speak to importance of Giving Tuesday

  • Volunteers and employees weed onions at Just Roots farm in Greenfield over the summer. On Giving Tuesday, $16,340 had been donated toward the nonprofit’s $25,000 goal as of 12:40 p.m. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • The 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer
Published: 11/30/2021 5:34:44 PM
Modified: 11/30/2021 5:34:11 PM

Giving Tuesday started as an idea in 2012. Nine years later, the idea of a national day of giving five days after Thanksgiving is picking up steam and obtaining the same type of social media push previously reserved for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Area nonprofits take the opportunity to appeal to members of the public to reach into their pockets as part of a day of global generosity. Jessica O’Neill, executive director of Just Roots in Greenfield, said the farm has taken advantage of the idea each year. Giving Tuesday is used as the start of Just Roots’ end-of-year fundraising campaign, one of two the farm holds in a year, the other being mid-year.

O’Neill said $16,340 had been donated toward the $25,000 goal as of 12:40 p.m. The goal is usually $20,000, but there is extra need this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply-chain issues. Last year, O’Neill said, Giving Tuesday generated $9,970 and the end-of-year campaign brought in $29,770.

The typical donation is between $25 and $50, O’Neill added. Any donation helps, and she understands $2 to one person could be the equivalent to $200 for someone else.

“We recognize and appreciate that,” O’Neill said.

She mentioned Just Roots has many loyal donors from Western Massachusetts and well outside the area. The farm grows food and partners with other local farms to provide food for 500 families, 80 percent of which are low-income and/or food insecure. She said donated money goes toward the farm’s subsidy program and into a general pool so it can be used on the farm where it is most needed, which can change unpredictably.

Donations to Just Roots can be made at

Nate Johnson, executive director of North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy, was ecstatic with the amount of money received on Tuesday.

“We’re doing excellent so far,” he said at 12:15 p.m. “We’re up to $400.”

The nonprofit has, since 1986, formed matches between people with and without developmental disabilities or mental health issues in the North Quabbin region’s nine towns. He mentioned one volunteer recently saved the life of a participant who went into diabetic shock.

Donations can be made at and

“It’s not only about the money, but it’s also about the community support,” Johnson said. “You know, it’s really inspiring.”

Johnson said the money will be used for recruiting and supporting the advocates who volunteer for a match.

Brad Foster, executive director of the 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem, said the venue had received $500 by 1:25 p.m. He said some donations are large and others are smaller, and while he appreciates and admires large contributions, it tickles his heart more to see a slew donations ranging in size.

“I like to see a batch,” he said. “I’m happier when we have a broader base of support.”

Foster said tickets sales and advertising revenue is never enough to cover the costs of the concerts held at the venue at 26 South Main St., and donations are used to offset those expenses.

“We rely on donations to cover that debt,” he explained, adding the revenue is even less this year due to the pandemic. “And the donations, they just keep us alive. They help us have the ability to plan for another season.”

Foster mentioned the nonprofit board of the 1794 Meetinghouse plans to buy the property from the town for roughly $100 to become the custodians of its maintenance and renovation. He said the sale is expected to be completed in the next two months.

Donations can be made at

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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