Giving Tuesday NWO makes big mark on small area community

WAUSEON, Ohio (WTVG) - In this season of giving, a small area community is creating big things on what's called “Giving Tuesday NWO." It happens after all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending, raising local money and making a local impact.

The playground is just part of how the staff at Sara's Garden in Wauseon helps kids with special needs. The goal is to provide social development, academic support and independence. Equipment funded mostly through the Giving Tuesday NWO event focused directly on Fulton County organizations.

"It really means ownership,” said Amy Murphy with Sara’s Garden.

Last year's inaugural event raised around $1.6 million.

“There's a lot of good work being done by these non-profits, and I think that they just need a space to share and have a light shined on them to show the difference they're making,” said event coordinator Shari Beck.

The 2018 Giving Tuesday NWO event supported 98 organizations, including transitional housing for Children's Lantern which helps victims of human trafficking and Habitat for Humanity of Fulton County with a recent build.

"I have felt the love all year long from being in that event last year and I'm excited to be part of it again this year and see what we can do in the future," said Heidi Kern of Habitat for Humanity.

"Everyone has a piece of making a difference in these families in the ministry we have and they kinda embrace that,” said Kelly Gerken for Sufficient Grace Ministries.

Sufficient Grace Ministries supports families who have lost a child in cases like a still birth or miscarriage. That work now stretches to over a dozen hospitals thanks to last year's event. So whether it’s in a time of need or a time for finding independence, Giving Tuesday NWO is giving hope to this community.

"We believe in community supporting community. Families supporting families. That’s really what Giving Tuesday is all about. How can we help our neighbors, our friends, our community," said Murphy.

This year's event is actually a sellout, even after adding even more people this year. Hundreds will be there to hear groups tell their stories and that's when the attendees can open their hearts and wallets.

It all happens next Tuesday, so we'll see if they can eclipse last year's total.