Thanksgiving and Christmas may be our favorite days of the year, but to those who are poor or homeless, the holidays can be a sad reminder of their financial situation. While we stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving and open loads of presents on Christmas, there are more than half a million people in the United States without a place to live.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the holidays are mostly about consumerism and commercialism. Instead of blowing money on ourselves and our families, why not give to someone who is less fortunate – someone who will actually appreciate it?
That’s where Giving Tuesday comes in. You may not have heard of this movement, but it’s been around since 2012. It was created by the United Nations Foundation and 92nd Street Y – a cultural center in New York City – as a way to give back to others. Giving Tuesday is fueled primarily by social media, so you may have seen it as #GivingTuesday.
The goal of Giving Tuesday is to celebrate the spirit of giving back to the community. Individuals and companies all over the world come together to give back to others, through community service, financial support, and volunteering. People are encouraged to donate time, resources and talents. Giving Tuesday brings together people in countries all over the world as well as people in their local communities. All acts of kindness – no matter how small – are very appreciated on this day.
This global day of giving is always celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving or the day after Cyber Monday. This year, Giving Tuesday is on November 29.
Giving Tuesday has been widely received by companies all over the world. Technology site Mashable is one of the founding partners. Cisco and Skype are other tech companies that have founded Giving Tuesday.
Over the years, Giving Tuesday has partnered with many other notable names, including Google, Microsoft, Sony, Starwood Hotels, Aldo, UNICEF and the Case Foundation.
Many popular publications have covered Giving Tuesday in an effort to spread the word about its cause. Articles about the event have been published on various websites and in newspapers, including the Huffington Post, Washington Post, USA Today, ABC News, Los Angeles Times and CNet.
Giving Tuesday has been well-received and successful since its inception in 2012. That year, more than $10 million was moved through the donation process. The following year, $28 million was moved. In 2014, $45.7 million was donated – a 63% increase over 2013. In 2015, $117 million - more than double the previous year’s amount – was donated. As you can see, the giving increases every year. That’s how generous we are.
Source: Giving Tuesday
Giving isn’t hard to do. No matter where you live, you’re sure to find many non-profit organizations near you. They may focus on a variety of interests and causes, such as children, animals or disabled adults. All of them can use any time you have to volunteer. Most would appreciate financial donations as well. You can also volunteer your talents, such as construction, writing, cooking, teaching and more.
Use this search tool to look for organizations near you. You’ll be directed to their website, where you’ll be able to email or call the ones that interest you and ask how you can help. You can also choose non-profits that are important to you or have changed your life in some way. Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to give back.
Many people use their paychecks to give back. Payroll giving is growing in popularity. If your company offers this option, it’s a great way to benefit the organization of your choice. Money is automatically deducted from your paychecks, so you don’t even have to lift a finger. Giving has never been easier!
Get in the holiday spirit – and we’re not talking about Black Friday shopping. Think philanthropy. When you’re out shopping this Thanksgiving weekend, think about someone who may not have as much as you. Instead of buying another present for your child, use that money and donate it to a charity of your choice. After all, it’s the season for giving.
To make 2016 the most successful year ever – visit the Giving Tuesday website and see how you can make a difference.