OWOSSO — Area nonprofits and residents participated Tuesday in the annual Giving Tuesday event, which encourages people to be charitable at the beginning of the holiday season.

The national event started in 2012 in response to the hype surrounding Black Friday and holiday shopping and has since grown into a global movement.

Nineteen area nonprofits have been participating in fundraising drives that began Nov. 19 and will end Jan. 1, all coming together to help “#raiseupshiawassee.”

The United Way of Genessee and Shiawassee Counties has been managing donations and all the money will be distributed to the nonprofits. Each nonprofit is doing something a little different.

The Child Advocacy Center is trying to raise $5,000 to implement a program that educates area children and their families about sexual abuse.

DeVries Nature Conservancy wants to make its nature classrooms and its nature center bathrooms handicap accessible. They estimate it will cost about $3,000.

Durand Union Station’s pitch for Giving Tuesday is, “Save your tires, pave our driveway.” They want to repave their “notoriously bumpy” driveway and are trying to raise $10,000.

The Arc of Mid-Michigan, which supports people with developmental disabilities, is trying to raise $2,000 to buy gifts for people in its programs, and their families.

The Friends of the Shiawassee River is looking to expand educational programming for children and conduct more hands-on activities with them. The Friends want to raise $3,500 to pay for staff and water exploration materials.

The Shiawassee Family YMCA was busy on Giving Tuesday, partnering with Girls on the Run of Mid-Michigan to raise $25,000 to create two ADA accessible locker rooms and raise $3,000 for programming. The groups conducted a move-a-thon during which the YMCA waived entrance fees for non-members to exercise for one hour and donate.

Great Start Collaborative provides Shiawassee families with scholarships to send kids to preschool. They have a goal of $8,000.

The Shiawassee Humane Society has taken on an increased load ever since the Shiawassee County Animal Control closed in 2012. They would like to raise $6,500 to build outdoor expandable play areas.

The Pregnancy Resource Center, which helps both men and women when they face an unexpected pregnancy, is raising $5,000 for free pregnancy tests, parenting classes and other things.

The Shiawassee Youth Advisory Council has been raising money to compile “essentials kits” that are going to be given to and distributed by Homeless Angels. The kits will include things like toothpaste and socks.

Shiawassee Hope is trying to help 70 families in poverty this season. They are trying to raise $7,400 to support the Pleasant Valley Trailer Park Impact Center. The center connects families to resources.

The Shiawassee Hunger Network has a goal of $2,500 that will be used to provide 10,000 meals to area families. The Shiawassee Hunger Network is facilitated by Catholic Charities of Owosso.

The Shiawassee Arts Center has a program that takes art to area nursing and assisted living homes. They are trying to raise $5,000 to support the program and anything they raise over the goal will be used to plant trees at Curwood Castle.

According to the SafeCenter, 24 people every minute experience violence by an intimate partner. The SafeCenter is attempting to raise $5,000 for essential services to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee County has a goal of $9,000 that will provide caregivers of up to 20 families a break.

The Laingsburg Clothesline distributes more than 200 pounds of clothing to needy families in the area a month. Tuesday, they conducted a 10 items for $10 sale. They are trying to raise $5,000 for plumbing, and a washer and dryer.

The Lebowsky Center For Performing Arts has a goal of $12,000 to support its programming.

Memorial Healthcare Foundation is raising money to cover lodging costs for out-of-town patients. If they hit their goal of $5,000, they can provide lodging for up to 30 patients and their caregivers.

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