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How you can help on #GivingTuesday

It's more important now than ever. Here are some of the local organizations that you can help.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people need help now than ever before.

Non-profits across East Tennessee are stepping up to help fill the void where they can, but their resources are limited. That's how you can help.

May 5 is designated as #GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

It's more important now than ever. Here are some of the local organizations that you can help. Click on the name to go their website.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Tennesese Valley serves up to 500 kids across 17 different club sites, providing a safe environment and meals. They’ve kept their doors open to help meet the needs of families in the community and help parents who still need to work.

The Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee (DSAG) connects families and professionals to serve people with DS in our community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee matches children in one-on-one mentoring relationships. Their mission is to provide children facing adversity with professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center provides behavioral health services across Tennessee in Blount, Hamblen, Knox, Loudon and Sevier Counties. The COVID-19 crisis has taken a mental toll on so many, and Helen Ross McNabb is here to help with life-saving services.

WBIR Anchor emeritus, Bill Williams had a passion for helping the impoverished people of Appalachia. From this passion was born the Mission of Hope. Today, this nonprofit helps thousands of families in the mountains and hills of southeastern Kentucky and Northeastern Tennessee. Many of these people have been hit hard by the economic stress of the coronavirus pandemic.

The YMCA of East Tennessee is a nonprofit that has been serving the Knoxville community for more than 165 years. It focuses on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility as its key areas.

The YWCA is not only a community resource, but it also helps domestic violence survivors. The YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Childhelp supports all services to treat and investigate abuse under one roof: medical personnel, law enforcement, child protection investigators and mental health professionals. The professionals all complete their related jobs within the center, reducing secondary trauma to the child and producing reliable evidence to support cases against perpetrators.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, who are trained to represent the best interests of children in juvenile abuse and neglect court cases. CASA is a local, nonprofit organization in communities all across the nation. Since CASA’s national inception, CASA volunteers have helped more than two million children find safe, permanent homes.

Legacy Parks Foundation has helped shape hundreds of acres of parks and green space across East Tennessee. The nonprofit is dedicated to improving access to outdoor places across the region.

Adopt a Golden Knoxville has helped place more than 1,000 golden retrievers in loving homes during the last decade. The homegrown rescue group operates through the efforts of volunteers and donations from supporters.

Friends of the Smokies has helped protect the mountains we cherish in partnership with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for nearly 30 years. This nonprofit provides donations and volunteers to help America's most popular national park to preserve its rich history, fund projects, maintain trails, provide environmental education, wildlife management and more.

Remote Area Medical (RAM) follows local legend Stan Brock's words of "Never forget the mission." It offers free medical, dental and vision care clinics to these in need in remote and under-served areas of East Tennessee, and have helped more than 835,000 people locally since 1985. It also organizes medical relief teams in times of disaster, flying supplies and hosting clinics around the world.

The Volunteer Ministry Center works to help prevent and end homelessness here in Knoxville. It has placed more than 1,000 people in permanent housing since 2007.

Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) has been a part of our community since 1960. KARM works to break the cycle of homelessness with a faith-based approach, helping more than 5,000 people each year by providing everything from food and shelter, to helping them find a job. It also operates a network of thrift stores whose profits go straight to helping people in need.

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is distributing a record amount of food to people in need across East Tennessee. More than 12,000 children rely on this program in 280 schools across our area, but Second Harvest believes that number will only go up in light of the pandemic recession. 

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has given out more than 133 million free books since it started in 1995. The group mails books around the world to the UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and of course, the United States. Dolly started the Imagination Library in honor of her father who could not read, saying it's one of her proudest accomplishments.

The Beardsley Community Farm is based on the belief that everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food. The farm -- located in Mechanicsville -- donates more than 10,000 pounds of produce every year to people in need. It also helps manage more than 30 community gardens across Knoxville, and provides lessons in cooking, gardening and more.

Keep Knoxville Beautiful has a mission to do just that. The group hosts litter cleanups, works on beautification projects, and educates people about the importance of caring for our planet.

Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend has helped care for and rehabilitate many of Tennessee's most beloved wild creatures for more than two decades. The group helps orphaned and injured black bear cubs and yearlings, providing them with a secure environment to give them a second chance at life before re-releasing them into the wild.  

As the bells ring around the holidays, the Salvation Army is busy collecting donations for its Angel Tree program. But during the other eleven months of the year, the nonprofit provides community assistance like transitional housing and support for domestic violence victims.

Zoo Knoxville has been a beloved fixture of the community for many decades, and is committed to sharing experiences that educate and inspire, no matter what age, across acres of creative habitats. The zoo is home to a number of critical conservation efforts, such as its work to save endangered reptiles such as the bog turtle.

Little Ponderosa Zoo in Clinton is home to a number of animals both exotic and domestic. Its work focuses on saving exotic animals from euthanization that may have been taken in as pets but later abandoned or dropped off at a shelter. It also works to rehabilitate wildlife such as white-tail deer to give orphaned fawns a second chance.

Horse Haven of Tennessee gives a second chance to injured and abused horses by rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing the gentle giants. As the only nonprofit equine rescue serving the entire state of Tennessee -- its goal is to create a state free of equine abuse and neglect.

Habitat for Humanity builds strength, stability, and self-reliance — all through shelter. On Giving Tuesday, two longtime and anonymous volunteers are matching donations up to $5,000. Their big goal is to raise enough money to pour the foundation on their next Habitat home.

For more than 25 years, the Emerald Youth Foundation has been operating right here in East Tennessee. Their mission is to raise up urban youth to love Jesus and become effective leaders who help renew their communities.