MAPLEWOOD/SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Today is Giving Tuesday. Created in 2012, it is described on its website as "a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

"Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give."

In Maplewood and South Orange, we have seen how our neighbors have stepped up to take care of one another during the coronavirus pandemic, whether it is shopping for a friend, creating a distanced birthday parade, or creating ear savers and face shields for our first responders. 

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Let us know who you're supporting on Giving Tuesday by tagging us in your social media post with the hashtags #TAPintoSOMA and #givingtuesday. We just may retweet or share your post!

Here are just a few local non-profits (we acknowledge there are many, many more) which would benefit from your donations:

Family Connections runs The Hub at Maplewood Middle School and The Loft at Columbia High School. These programs have become a huge source of refuge for many students within the schools when they are struggling. Many students and clients need FC now more than ever. The school based programs are continuing to serve students and check in with them, especially around mental health.

Rent Party, which puts on live music events to raise funds to alleviate hunger in the community.

JESPY HOUSE which supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living independent lives in South Orange.

Community Coalition on Race, which is a nationally recognized non-profit organization committed to building a unique, suburban community that is free of racial segregation in housing patterns and community involvement. 

MEND is an interfaith network of 20 member food pantries located throughout Essex County, NJ. Its hunger relief network, the largest in Essex County, has been providing food to individuals and families in need since 1980.

Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood raises funds to promote exemplary public education for all students and educators in our community. Achieve’s funds are distributed exclusively to educators in the ten schools of the School District of South Orange and Maplewood for classroom grants, volunteer tutors, professional development, innovative pilot programs and much more to enrich the learning experience at all grade levels.

South Mountain YMCA, part of Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, has programming from infancy to adults, offering youth and adult recreational and educational programs.