NEW YORK -- This Giving Tuesday, the goal is to generate a movement of generosity.
CBS New York's Vanessa Murdock visited two events shining a spotlight on how good it feels to give while spreading word about neighbors in need across the Tri-State Area.
A huge smile from Sharon Perez was brought on by the gift of a warm hat and coat.
"I got some nice coats, well-packed, clean, thank God," she said.
Perez shared after the pandemic and hours getting cut, she needed a little extra help this year.
"I work in the neighborhood and I have a lot of friends who advised me to come here," she said.
The nonprofit One Warm Coat, in partnership with Food Bank for New York City, handed out hundreds of coats on this Giving Tuesday at First Corinthian Baptist Church in East Harlem.
"We're finding that in the city, the need is absolutely enormous," One Warm Coat program director Jen Hanes said.
Hanes says the need is the greatest in 50 years.
Meanwhile, giving is down.
"The smaller donors are declining. All donors are declining," said Poonam Prasad, with Prasad Consulting & Research.
Prasad helped compile the 2023 Giving USA Report. She says in 2022, donations in the United States totaled $499.33 billion. That seems like a big number, but Prasad says, "it decreased in 2022 by 3.4 percent in current dollars and 10.5 percent adjusted for inflation."
Prasad shares these contributing factors:
- Tax deductions became less valuable for smaller donors with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,
- More money going toward political campaigns,
- And press about mega donors.
"That's why Giving Tuesday is so important," Prasad said.
Giving blood in honor of NYPD Det. Dillon Stewart at the 70th Precinct made a big difference Tuesday for New York Blood Center, and it cost nothing.
"You can save three lives with every unit of blood we collect," said Jennifer McCorry, manager of donor improvements at New York Blood Center.
Stewart was shot in the heart and killed in the line of duty. His surviving spouse, Leslyn Stewart, witnessed doctors trying to save him.
"Seeing the doctors physically massaging his heart and them talking to me about the amount of blood they had to use to at least attempt to save his life," she said.
She says blood is an amazing gift – one her husband gave while living. She hopes during this season of giving, this blood drive inspires New Yorkers to give the gift of life.
Small donations can go a long way. One Warm Coat shares that a $1 donation can provide one person with a coat.
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