United Way of Story County (UWSC) is launching a 24-hour campaign this #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on Nov. 27, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate to improve their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

Our goal this year is to raise $3,024 for our BackPack Program in partnership with the Food Bank of Iowa. This program gives children in need a backpack of healthy food items every Friday during the school year. This ensures that children have nutritious meals over the weekend until they return to school on Monday. We need your help to make sure these BackPacks continue to be stocked for children who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

It has been shown that children who are hungry have more difficulties engaging in academics. If their stomachs aren’t full, their minds aren’t ready to learn. Children who regularly eat healthy meals are more physically active and successful in school and beyond.

We can make a difference right here in Story County. According to feedingamerica.org, Story County is one of only two counties in Iowa with a food insecurity rate above 14.5 percent. We have nearly 15,000 food insecure people in our county. The BackPack Program is helping to lower this number. Help us supply 864 BackPacks, enough to provide for 24 students per week for one school year, by making a gift on #GivingTuesday. We have just 24 hours to raise $3,024, but we can do it with your help.

To donate, please visit www.uwstory.org on November 27 and give through the Giving Tuesday banner.