Giving Tuesday moved up to help those struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic

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WATCH ABOVE: Giving Tuesday has been moved up to May 5, because of the unprecedented need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nicole Stillger reports – May 3, 2020

Since 2012, people around the world have been taking part in Giving Tuesday.

It typically falls on the Tuesday after Black Friday — kicking off the charitable season.

However, because of the unprecedented need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global day of action has been moved up to May 5.

“It is an opportunity for all the charities to be able to shed light on their need — like ours,” said Alberta Diabetes Foundation executive director Brad Fournier.

“The tragedy is our revenues are about 25 per cent of what they were a year ago.”

This would have been a big weekend for the foundation.

“We would have had about a 500-person gala on May 1,” Fournier explained.

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The event typically brings in around $300,000, but it was postponed — the rest of their summer fundraisers are also affected.

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“We are having an online charity auction starting this week,” he said. “We are still paying salaries for students and researchers.”

According to Canada Helps, this Giving Tuesday is an emergency response and the need is urgent.

“It’s really absolutely devastating across the board for the whole charitable sector,” said Lys Hugessen, partnerships vice president at Canada Helps.

“We’ve of course seen natural disasters where there are short-term, sort of emergency responses required, but never anything like this really.”

Hugessen said this is uncharted territory.

“Canada is predicting that it’s going to have something like between eight and $15 billion impact.”

It’s also been a challenging time for the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary near Cochrane, Alta.

“Our main source of funding is people coming out to the sanctuary coming up for tours,” operations manager Alyx Harris said.

To help them cover costs, they’ve started a GoFundMe campaign and are more than half-way to their $75,000 goal.

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“Would basically be to cover our costs for those two months of not being able to have that revenue coming in,” Harris explained.

They’ve also launched a new fundraiser where people can design a birthday party for their wolfdogs.

She noted the upcoming Giving Tuesday is important for not only non-profits.

“Just everyone supporting local and supporting all these different businesses that really are at risk of having to close down,” she said.

The grassroots movement encourages people to support their favourite causes.

It will also return on Dec. 1.

Visit for more information.

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