Local Groups Join #GivingTuesday Movement

Published Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm


Compiled by Jesse Wood

A number of local organizations are promoting #GivingTuesday, a movement held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an “effort to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.”

The organizations below – Grandfather Mountain, the Blue Ridge Conservancy, Two Rivers Community School – are just the ones that reached out to High Country Press.

As Lesley Platek, volunteer coordinator for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the popular Linville attraction, said, “#GivingTuesday has quickly become one of the most charitable days of the year.”



Grandfather Mountain joins #GivingTuesday movement

The day after Thanksgiving, there’s one thing on most Americans’ minds — leftovers.

Meanwhile, many turn their thoughts to the season of giving.

While national sales events, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, focus solely on shopping, the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is marking a different date on its calendar.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, is #GivingTuesday, a global, social media-based movement that encourages folks to kick off the holiday season in a positive light — by giving back to their communities and donating to their favorite charities and causes.

“#GivingTuesday has quickly become one of the most charitable days of the year,” said Lesley Platek, volunteer coordinator for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the popular Linville attraction.

This #GivingTuesday, Grandfather Mountain will begin accepting donations toward two special projects — a new elk habitat and extensive renovations for the existing cougar habitat.

“We are interested in bringing elk to Grandfather Mountain to raise awareness of one of our long forgotten, majestic, native animals that once roamed this area,” executive director Jesse Pope said.

The elk habitat would replace the current deer habitat, the population for which is aging. Further, Pope explained, it is difficult to acquire new deer, due to regulations on captive deer populations to reduce the spread of chronic wasting disease.

As such, Pope and habitat staff are now investigating opportunities to acquire elk, which were once prominent in the area, as the Avery County communities of Banner Elk and Elk Park were named for this lost inhabitant of the High Country.

“We want to raise awareness about the natural history of this beautiful animal, as well as promote the efforts taking place in the Southern Appalachians to bring back this native species,” Pope said.

The elk habitat project includes some gentle grading work to make it more suitable for its new residents, as well as an elk barn and shifting paddock to allow keepers access to the habitat.

Cougar habitat renovations would entail improvement of fencing and signage, building a new cougar house (complete with dens for the big cats), a feed storage area for the elk and an animal examination room for the mountain’s veterinarian.

With donors having already contributed to the cause, the foundation is looking to raise the remaining $230,000 to cover both projects, and Platek said #GivingTuesday could be a boon for the effort.

For instance, if each of Grandfather Mountain’s approximately 66,700 Facebook fans was to donate $3.45 on Dec. 1, the entire fundraising goal could be met with change to spare.

“We are excited to raise awareness about our mission as a nonprofit to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders found here at Grandfather Mountain,” Pope said. “It takes support from the community to help us accomplish this lofty mission, and #GivingTuesday will be a great opportunity for our friends to support some of the special projects we have going on in the coming year.”

Those looking to contribute on #GivingTuesday can visit www.grandfather.com/preserving-protecting/make-a-donation/ on Dec. 1 and click on “#GivingTuesday.” Donations are also accepted year-round at the same web address.

Grandfather Gives

Also on Dec. 1, Grandfather Mountain will join the Williams YMCA of Avery County to fill backpacks for Avery County Schools’ Backpack Program.

The program works with schools throughout the county to provide children with a backpack filled with food every Friday throughout the school year.

About #GivingTuesday

Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has been held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2014, the event brought together some 30,000 partners in 68 countries, registering 32.7 million impressions and 698,000 hashtag mentions on Twitter.

#GivingTuesday was founded by 92Y, a cultural center in New York City, as a way of linking individuals and causes to strengthen communities and encourage giving.

For more information, visit www.givingtuesday.org and www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday, or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTueday hashtag on Twitter.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.

Contributions Save the Places People Love, Strengthen Land Conservation

Blue Ridge Conservancy has joined the #GivingTuesday movement, a national day of spending with a purpose.  BRC is a private, non-profit organization with the mission of working with landowners and local communities to permanently protect land and water resources with agricultural, ecological, cultural, recreational and scenic value.

Taking place Dec. 1, #GivingTuesday comes on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to create a better world. By harnessing the power of social media, #GivingTuesday participants inspire people to take action that improves their community by supporting the causes and charities most important to them.

“Blue Ridge Conservancy’s supporters are our partners in saving the places we love. Without our supporters it would not be possible to protect our beautiful mountain resources,” said Walter Clark, Blue Ridge Conservancy Executive Director.

Contributions to the Blue Ridge Conservancy can be madewww.blueridgeconservancy.org or mailed to PO Box 568 Boone, NC 28607.

Gifts to Blue Ridge Conservancy help protect significant ecological habitat like the 355 acre Bear Paw State Natural Area along the Hanging Rock Ridge. Contributions also help create recreational opportunities and public access such as expanding Elk Knob State Park. Gifts also fund preserving cultural heritage and historically significant farmland throughout the High Country.

“Local land trusts like Blue Ridge Conservancy form the backbone of land conservation in America,” said Rob Aldrich, director of community conservation at the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization that counts Blue Ridge Conservancy among its more than 1,100 member land trusts. “To remember Blue Ridge Conservancy this Giving Tuesday is to remember the importance of land to our communities.”


About Blue Ridge Conservancy

BRC is a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization incorporated in North Carolina. BRC has protected over 18,000 acres in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey Counties.  In addition to protecting working farmland, BRC’s efforts have resulted in the creation of state natural areas like Beech Creek Bog, Bear Paw State Natural Area and Bullhead Mountain. We continue to help Elk Knob State park expand its borders and established a 2,900-acre State Game Land preserve on Pond Mountain in Ashe County.

More information about Blue Ridge Conservancy is available atwww.blueridgeconservancy.org.

About #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give. It will culminate with a global day of giving on Dec. 1, 2015. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners – charities, families, businesses and individuals – to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities, or to join the celebration of giving, please visitwww.givingtuesday.org.

Two Rivers Community School Participates in Giving Tuesday

Next Tuesday Two Rivers Community School is participating in Giving Tuesday. It’s a national movement focusing on a day of giving. To learn more please click here.

Two Rivers is a place where all children are supported and celebrated for their abilities and who they are. We teach the whole child encouraging a love for learning and the world around us.

Supporting your community school is an investment in the future of our youth and the High Country. Save the date!



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