Every year, a lot of people spend the days after Thanksgiving shopping ‘til they drop and checking items off their holiday gift lists. Of course, turkey day is on a Thursday, then there is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, but it doesn’t stop there. The Tuesday following Thanksgiving is now known as “Giving Tuesday” with the purpose of giving back to others. Since originating in 2012, this day has gained popularity and support with every passing year. This year, Giving Tuesday will be celebrated on November 28th, this upcoming Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday was created by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation as a way to kick-off the charitable season through holiday and end-of-year giving. According to givingtuesday.org, the internationally recognized day brings individuals, communities, and organizations together for one purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. On this Tuesday, the hashtag #GivingTuesday, is used around the world on various social media platforms to promote change and volunteering in one’s community. This hashtag inspires people to donate their time, resources, and talents. In addition, online donations are encouraged. Giving Tuesday exemplifies the influence families, individuals, nonprofits, organizations, and businesses have in turning small acts of kindness into powerful change and making the world a better place. According to USA Today, in 2016, over $168 million dollars in charitable donations worldwide were made during Giving Tuesday, breaking the 2015 total by 44%, and online donations increased by 31%. Lastly, since 2012, the popularity and presence of Giving Tuesday increased by 317%. Sounds like this day will continue making a greater impact on everyone as the years go by.
Looking for ways you and your family and friends can give back on this Tuesday? Read below to get inspiration.
If you are in a pinch for time, online donations are one of the quickest ways to participate in Giving Tuesday. Most charities and nonprofits have links for donating on their websites and many will have special Giving Tuesday campaigns. Another way to give back is by choosing your favorite charity on Amazon Smile. For every eligible purchase you make on Amazon, 0.5% will go to the organization. Visit smile.amazon.com to learn more.
Volunteering Your Time:
One of the best parts of volunteering is actually spending time at the organization. This is a chance for you to meet the workers and sometimes the people receiving the charity’s assistance. Set aside a portion of time during Giving Tuesday to volunteer. This could be done in the morning, lunchtime, afternoon, or evening. Maybe it is helping serve dinner at the local soup kitchen or playing with the animals at the Humane Society? Again, decide on an organization that is personal and impactful for you and contact them to see the best way you can serve them. Volunteering doesn’t have to be an all-day adventure; it can only be a few hours. Get your family and friends involved and see all the ways you can make a difference.
Volunteering Your Resources and Talents:
Maybe it’s through having a bake sale for the hospital or knitting blankets for hospice; whatever activity you choose to volunteer, you are using your resources and talents. Think about your hobbies and skills and how you can turn those into helping others. Other ideas include having a donation/collection drive for supplies, food, books, and more, writing cards to veterans and active military members, delivering special treats to police officers and firefighters, or running errands for elderly neighbors. A simple Google search can bring up multiple ideas for ways to volunteer your resources and talents.
Spread the Word:
The power of social media is huge in today’s world. Every day, there is something new going viral. One of the quickest and biggest ways you can make an impact on Giving Tuesday is through promoting it on your personal social media accounts. Send out save the date reminders using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Then, on November 28th, use your voice to get others participating in the movement. Share how you are giving back and ideas for others.
Giving Tuesday doesn’t have to be a one-day only event; it is something that should happen every day of the year. Mark your calendars and start planning on how you and your family will help others in your community on this important day. For more information, visit: givingtuesday.org.
Article published in Forsyth Woman Magazine.