Giving Tuesday

Thanksgiving has come and gone (although there are still some leftovers in the fridge...not much, but some).  We've moved past Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.  We have arrived at Giving Tuesday. 

The day, which started out 7 years ago at Y in NYC, has gone global and that's a GOOD thing.  It's harvested social media and put it to good use. 

We've all (I hope) given thanks for our blessings.  Some of us have gone on a shopping frenzy.  (I didn't because I just don't have the $ to frenzy out!)  Now is the perfect time to give back.  And in giving back you can also mark off your holiday gift list.

Think about the people you treasure in your heart.  Are you planning on buying them a gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.?  What do they really need?  What is their passion?  Why not support that passion with a donation to a charity that shares it?

Many of them will send a card or note to the person whom you are honoring with the donation.  But if they don't, and perhaps even better, you make you own card/note.  Personalize it and let the person know WHY you made the donation.  It takes more thought, but overall less time and money (no getting stuck in traffic and wasting gas; no standing on lines, etc.)

Let me give you two examples of thoughtful giving (if I might toot my own horn here):

  • My mother and I are both readers.  Pat Conroy was one of our favorite authors.  He may not be around anymore, but I CAN support the Pat Conroy Literacy Center.  Making a donation and gifting it to my mother, expresses my love for a mutual favorite author, something that we both share.
  • In the summer, my son attends Camp Johnsonburg.  I know it's a place that my Aunt Julie cares about and has been there on retreats.  So it only makes sense to make a donation and gift it to her.  Last year they were specifically trying to raise funds for their waterfront docks and fire pit. It only made sense to "purchase" a personalized brick in honor of my aunt.
  • I also volunteer and am a regular shopper at a thrift shop that is associated with the church I attend.  All the "workers" are unpaid (and incredibly dedicated) volunteers.  I know that anything I purchase there (and there are some wonderful gift items) will result in financial give back to the local community. (As a matter of fact, I know that ALL monies go back to the church and support it and all its missions.)  I'm sure that "my" thrift shop is not the only one that does that.  It takes very little time to do a little research and you can purchase a physical gift and still be part of Giving Tuesday.  (Even if you do your giving on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...)
Share the spirit of the season, no matter what you celebrate.  It doesn't have to be this Tuesday!  It can be any time.  It’s a gift that is so easy to give and means more than another tie for dad or sweater for mom.  Share your passions; give to the charity that you and your giftee believe in.  When you do, your gift benefits not just your giftee, but so many more.

Give the gift of giving back.


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