COLUMBUS – While thinking about giving to people we love during the holidays, Ohioans can also consider giving to the less fortunate in their communities.

This Tuesday is known as Giving Tuesday, and Suzanne Allen, president and CEO of Philanthropy Ohio, says it’s an opportunity to help others before the holiday season gets too busy.

“You’ve been shopping on Friday and you were thankful on Thursday,” she points out. “You’re getting ready for the holidays, but let’s use the spirit of philanthropy to make a contribution to a cause you care about, in a way that’s meaningful to you.”

Whether it’s a cash donation, a donation of food or used clothing or volunteering your time, Allen says there are numerous ways for Ohioans to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others.

Before you write a check or load up a box of goods to donate, Allen explains it is very important to do your homework.

She notes there are many groups with names that are intentionally similar to a popular cause or charity, but aren’t actually legitimate nonprofit organizations. So, she recommends looking at the organization’s website, or even giving them a call.

“Nonprofits are very happy to talk about what they do, because that’s what they’re in the business of is sharing their mission,” she stresses. “And if you believe in them, help them.”

Charities can also be researched online at the websites or, or through the local Better Business Bureau.

By Mary Kuhlman

Ohio News Connection