You bought up the doorbusters on Black Friday, you supported local shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, then browsed the best bargains on Cyber Monday. If you still have a little left over after stockpiling stocking stuffers the past few days, might we suggest giving a little to those who really need a helping hand this holiday season?

Today marks Giving Tuesday, a movement that was begun in 2012 by technology website Mashable and other primarily technology companies and organizations as a counter to the commercialism and consumerism that has overtaken the holidays. The worldwide phenomenon helped raise more than $168 million in charitable donations last year, most through a variety of donation websites and those of nonprofits. Even more is expected to be given this year.


But much like Small Business Saturday, we’d like to encourage folks to think a little more locally when making a donation to a charitable cause today. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of great organizations out there doing awesome work on a global or national scale that could use your help, but there are a number of individuals who could use an assist right here in our own backyards and several nonprofits that can help.

One way to do so is through the Carroll County Times’ Holiday Hope campaign, which is now in its 19th year. Last year, we were able to raise more than $100,000 for our partner charities. This year, we’ve set our goal at $110,000 by Christmas for five local nonprofits: Access Carroll, Carroll Hospice, Human Services Programs’ Neighbors in Need Year Round, Carroll Food Sunday and The Shepherd’s Staff.

If you missed them in print over the past few days, detailed stories about each of these organizations and how they help our community can be found on our website www.carrollcountytimes.com/holidayhope, where you can also find a form used to donate to the cause.

But these are by no means the only local charities or nonprofits worth supporting. To name just a few, there are also groups like Mission of Mercy, which provides free health care, dental care and medications for those falling through the cracks of our health care system; Habitat for Humanity, which creates affordable homeownership opportunities for local families; the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, which provides a positive after-school environment for youth; and Caring and Sharing, which assists families in Northwest Carroll with everything from emergency home repairs and food assistance to helping folks pay their electric bill.

That’s barely the tip of the iceberg. Chances are, if there is a cause you want to support, there is a nonprofit in Carroll County doing the work. The Carroll County Public Library maintains a directory of community services at community.carr.org, where you can search nearly 1,200 organizations operating in the county.

Of course, we also understand that people may want to help, but aren’t in a position to assist monetarily right now. For many of these organizations, the gift of time is the greatest one you can give. Many Carroll nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers to carry out their missions and their leaders will tell you that much of their accomplishments and contributions would never get off the ground without the incredible volunteers and volunteer hours they receive.

Many groups also collect items you already have on hand, like canned food or gently used clothing to redistribute to those in need.

So please, if the spirit moves you this Giving Tuesday, consider making your donations to a local organization that helps people right here in Carroll County.