After the rush of Cyber Monday, groups across the nation celebrate a day of philanthropy known as #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday was started in New York City to connect communities and give organizations a chance to encourage the donation of time and resources to whatever they may need.  

There are currently 20 different local organizations and nonprofits registered to participate in #GivingTuesday this year, and among them is Hillcroft Services. 

Hillcroft Services is a Muncie organization that provides services including employment, transportation and therapy for individuals with disabilities.

“[#GivingTuesday] is a day to pause after all of the fast-paced consumer events that happen right after Thanksgiving,” said Genet Soule, vice president of development and marketing for Hillcroft Services. 

While this is the first major event Soule has led in her three months at Hillcroft, she helped initiate #GivingTuesday in the Muncie community while working at Indiana Public Radio.

“It has been amazing to be a part of #GivingTuesday in so many ways, and it has been great to watch it grow in Muncie,” Soule said. “For Hillcroft, this project is a big way to harness everyone’s energy and excitement.”

Hillcroft will be fundraising to purchase and raise awareness to the importance of heart defibrillators with its #GivingTuesday initiative. 

During Soule’s training session on CPR, she was taught how to use a heart defibrillator and how important they can be in saving a life. Because Hillcroft does not currently have any heart defibrillators, Soule decided to suggest raising money for them. 

“All Hillcroft staff are trained in CPR and First Aid as a part of their orientation and ongoing training,” said Debbie Bennett, president and chief executive office of Hillcroft Services. “Using these machines in training but not having them on-hand is very difficult. Having this equipment increases the chance of survival of someone having a heart attack until medical help can arrive.”

Each defibrillator costs around $1,300, and Hillcroft is hoping to raise at least $3,900 this #GivingTuesday.

“In an effort to keep our residents and staff as safe as possible, we would like to equip our facilities with a heart defibrillator,” Bennett said. “The investments of those who donate could be the catalyst to save a life. There is no better gift than that.”

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