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On Tuesday, Charlotte’s nonprofits get their day

You braved the crowded stores on Gray Thursday and Black Friday, then shopped at the locally owned shops on Small Business Saturday.

After scooping up all those bargains on Cyber Monday, more than five dozen of the Charlotte region’s nonprofit organizations have a request for you: Send a little money their way on Giving Tuesday.

Share Charlotte, an Internet-based organization that puts charities in contact with donors, has organized 64 Charlotte-area groups into a single fundraising effort on a day dedicated nationally to supporting nonprofits during the holiday season.

“These 64 organizations are from 10 different categories, and we’re really happy to have them together,” said Kelly Brooks of Share Charlotte. “By going to the website we have set up for Tuesday’s event, you’ll be able to give money or pledge volunteer hours in 2015.

“Either way,” Brooks said, “you’ll be making a difference.”

Some of the Charlotte-area’s nonprofits are going it alone Tuesday, and donors are encouraged to help whatever organization they care to support. But many of the region’s groups are going with the Share Charlotte effort.

One of the 64 organizations is Hospitality House of Charlotte, which provides lodging for families of patients needing care for severe medical conditions at Charlotte’s hospitals. In about three decades, Hospitality House has cared for more than 51,000 guests.

“We have about 100 percent occupancy every night, and we have a waiting list,” said Carrie Howell, Hospitality House’s executive director.

On a recent day, 82-year-old Aline Barnes of Greenwood, S.C., was among the guests, staying at the facility on Scott Avenue while her son underwent heart surgery at nearby Carolinas Medical Center. Barnes said she appreciated the taste of home she received at Hospitality House.

In many cases, Howell said the house’s guests would never be able to afford to stay near their loved ones while they received medical care.

Hospitality House relies on small grants and donations for its support.

“And it’s a challenge to market ourselves when it comes to asking for help,” Howell said. “That’s because our guests are from out of town. It’s rare when people in the Charlotte area need our help.”

Share Charlotte’s Brooks said the organizations being helped Tuesday are large and small.

Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, directed by Joanne Stratton Tate, falls into the latter category. It provides English instruction for preschool-age, Spanish-speaking children on what Tate said is a shoestring budget. The school, on Central Avenue near Eastway Drive in east Charlotte, serves 72 children and has 300 more on the waiting list.

“It’s really sad that we have the waiting list,” Tate said. “What we’re doing is making a big difference in children’s lives, helping get them ready for kindergarten. We’d love to be able to reach more children, but we can’t afford to.”

She said working with Share Charlotte on Giving Tuesday is a huge boost for Charlotte Bilingual Preschool.

“We’re not big enough to do something like this,” she said. “We don’t have the infrastructure. But this way, we have a chance of getting the support we need. We’ll be out there with the other groups.”

When people go to the Giving Tuesday website, they will be able to direct their donations to the group or groups they want to help.

Brooks said about eight to 10 Charlotte nonprofit organizations tried to do something similar last year on their own. She said she saw an opportunity to make it better this year.

“We got a lot of the nonprofit groups to join us on this,” she said. “I think it will be even bigger next year.”

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