The Coast News Group

‘Giving Tuesday’ declared in Oceanside

OCEANSIDE — Mayor Jim Wood declared Dec. 2 Giving Tuesday at a North County Lifeline event. The day focuses on giving back to nonprofits, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumer sales.

Wood said the day comes along when people’s hearts are open to giving.

“It’s the time most people don’t mind giving,” Wood said.

The Giving Tuesday movement was initiated in 2012 to promote national charity and kindness. More than 16,000 organizations take part.

Some U.S. legislators are pushing to make the day a national holiday of giving and volunteerism. Many say it is what the holiday season is all about.

In Oceanside, North County Lifeline, MainStreet Oceanside and Oceanside Museum of Art are among the organizations supporting Giving Tuesday.

North County Lifeline has been a local service provider since 1970. The organization began as a grassroots effort to address drug issues with youth.

It soon expanded to give legal advice and transportation services.

Emergency assistance, services for the disabled and additional youth services were added by 1980. The nonprofit also provides long-term employment services, and domestic violence intervention and counseling.

MainStreet Oceanside and Oceanside Museum of Art held a holiday mixer Dec. 2 to raise funds and collect food and toy donations for North County Community Services (NCCS).

Local restaurants supplied appetizers and prizes for the mixer.

Gumaro Escarcega, MainStreet Oceanside program manager, said MainStreet partnered with the museum to help support NCCS, which serves as the main food bank for North County.

NCCS was founded in the 1960s. Its food bank was established in 1988, and now distributes food to 112 nonprofit organizations.

Last year, NCCS distributed close to 2 million pounds of food to those in need. The demand for food donations peaked five years ago, with the downturn in the economy, and continues to remain high.

The Giving Tuesday event allowed people to enjoy themselves and make donations.

“This is our first time doing this,” Escarcega said. “We’re going to start and let it grow.”

He added with more businesses opening up downtown, more collaboration is going on in holding events.

MainStreet Oceanside will continue to collect nonperishable food and toys for NCCS at its office at 701 Mission Ave. through mid-December.