By Tony Fasciano of Volunteer New York!

Looking to create a fundraising campaign that embodied our mission and the volunteers we support, in 2015, Volunteer New York! launched the Volunteer Hat in partnership with The Journal News on #GivingTuesday and we haven't looked back since. Hundreds of local business leaders have stepped forward to wear the volunteer hat on #GivingTuesday and have raised over a hundred-thousand dollars for local volunteerism in the past two years. Why a volunteer hat? Because it embodies the spirit of volunteers, who purposely choose to wear many hats in support of others.

This year we're making an even bigger commitment to our support of volunteerism in Rockland and using Giving Tuesday to strengthen the bridge that connects our communities together. This year the Journal News will release two unique newspaper spreads on Giving Tuesday (one in their Westchester version and one in their Rockland version). And Volunteer New York! volunteers will hand-deliver to our Giving Tuesday donors one of two unique hats, one for if they supported Westchester volunteerism and one for Rockland volunteerism. Each Giving Tuesday spread in the Journal News will feature up to 50 local leaders (wearing their volunteer hat) who have stepped up to support volunteerism as part of Giving Tuesday. As a result of having two unique hats -- a friendly challenge between counties connected by the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has emerged, and Journal News readers can check http://data.lohud.com/givingtuesday/ to see which county has the most love for the Volunteer Hat so far! There have also been weekly posts from the Journal News about featured volunteers from both sides of bridge.

Wearing the volunteer hat on Giving Tuesday is open to any leader or community member in our area that is interested in supporting local volunteerism. For more info, please visit volunteernewyork.org/bridge2give to wear your care on #GivingTuesday and be featured in the Journal News!