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As the holiday season approaches, Gallatin County organizations are gearing up for Giving Tuesday, a day of fundraising and donations after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The fundraising day was started in 2012 and is held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

“We’ll give away as much as we can raise on Giving Tuesday,” said Danica Jamison, president of Greater Gallatin United Way.

Greater Gallatin United Way has four impact areas it’s hoping to get donations for, including basic needs, child and youth success programs, increased access and awareness of mental health resources and reducing loneliness and isolation for seniors.

Donors can specify which of the four areas they would like their donation funneled toward.

Jamison estimates donations it receives on Giving Tuesday can impact 30 to 40 partner organizations, including its 21 KidsLINK before- and after-school programs in the county.

“Our job at United Way is really about connecting individuals who have this desire to give from their heart, financially, their time, their talent and their advocacy, and connect them with those most in need in our community,” Jamison said.

One of United Way’s child success programs is in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, from which children receive a free book every month up until their fifth birthday. While the books are free to participants, United Way covers the cost of shipping the books.

The nonprofit needs $45,000 to meet the shipping costs for all the students it has signed up and is hoping to raise more to continue growing the number of children it benefits, Jamison said.

United Way is also hoping to raise $176,000 for its KidsLINK program, in part to open the remaining 11 sites it closed during the pandemic and expand access at its current sites.

While the nonprofit doesn’t expect to raise all of that during Giving Tuesday, any amount toward the goals would be helpful, Jamison said.

The organizations United Way partnered with to address basic needs like shelter, food and winter clothes are always in need of donations, too.

“We have definitely seen a tremendous need in all of our impact work,” Jamison said.

From child care needs to direct impacts of getting COVID-19 and not having sick leave to increased cost of living and rent, many families are struggling or just on the margin.

“We’re seeing people working really, really hard and just not being able to meet their bills,” Jamison said.

In the early months of the pandemic, Greater Gallatin United Way and One Valley Community Foundation raised around $800,000 for their Southwest Montana COVID-19 Response Fund.

When the Bridger Foothills Fire spread in September 2020, Greater Gallatin United Way and partner organizations raised just over $400,000.

Following fundraising for those two “big community disasters,” Jamison said they haven’t seen donations reach that peak again but the need remains for many families.

“The status of what some people in our community are experiencing is as dire or intense as the early days of the pandemic,” she said.

The nonprofit accepts donations online or via mail. People can also text GGUWDONATE to 41-444.

Other organizations in Bozeman participating in the fundraising day include:

Montana Science Center is hoping to continue growing its hands-on exhibits

  • and programs;
  • The Bozeman Public Library Foundation is
  • with money matched up to $10,000; and
  • Montana State University will be
  • through its Alumni Foundation, with options to donate to the university’s food pantry Bounty of the Bridgers, its Counseling and Psychological Services and Towne’s Harvest Garden.

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Liz Weber can be reached at or 582-2633.

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