Giving Tuesday, a national movement started in 2011, was designed to create an international day of charitable giving to kick off the winter holiday season. The movement was started to give a different approach to the large shopping sprees and door buster deals to hit at helping each other in our communities. Jacksonville has a way to give back to their downtown effort for the upcoming year. Judy Tighe, executive director of Jacksonville Main Street, a local non-profit designed to continue to revitalize and beautify the Jacksonville downtown square as well as give the community a place to go to enjoy events and local gatherings says that Giving Tuesday sets up events for the rest of the year. “All of the money that we raise, we devote it back into downtown revitalization,” Tighe says. “We have a variety of projects that we have done over the years. Many we are still working on. When you see all of the Christmas decorations and amenities in the Downtown area, we helped make that possible. The events and promotions of businesses downtown are some of the things that we do throughout the year.”
Tighe says that the group used money from last year to bring big events to the square this summer including having the Wall Dog muralists return to refresh the current murals as well as create a new one, the Downtown Concert Series, the Craft Brew and art festival, and the Pumpkin Festival. Tighe hopes to have the muralists return to revitalize one more older mural and possibly create one more new one this coming Spring or Summer.
Tighe says now is the perfect time for small businesses to budget for sponsorships for events as many are going through their upcoming year’s budget process. She says Jacksonville Main Street sends out reminders in the early part of each year for business sponsorships, but she is approached by many business owners who forget to apply or feel like they don’t have enough money to be a sponsor at Jacksonville Main Street events. She says event a small donation helps maintain the event schedule throughout the year.
She says that Jacksonville Main Street always enjoys promoting their sponsors for local events to help continue to encourage growth of downtown and to invite new businesses downtown. Tighe also says that the 20 for 20 campaign marking the group’s 20 years of existence has been extremely successful this year. She said that the group has seen some pretty amazing changes in its two decades. She said the original Jacksonville Main Street would have never imagined offering free wi-fi downtown 24 hours, 7 days a week when things got started.
To Donate on Giving Tuesday or any day of the week, you can visit jacksonvillemainstreet.com or their Facebook Page. The GivingTuesday button is currently pinned to the top of their Facebook page.