Amidst the chaos of post-Black Friday weekend, which seemingly now lasts from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving straight through to the following Monday, I want to give some attention to Giving Tuesday.
This is a two-year old movement, and it seems like a great way to metaphorically cleanse the palette from the last 5 days of self indulgent consumerism (for me, anyway).
It’s marketed as the finale of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, and is encouraging the public to focus their dollars towards non-profits and any kind of giving in light of the Holiday Season. From the FAQs –
Question: What is #GivingTuesday™?
Answer: #GivingTuesday™ (#GT) is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The second annual GivingTuesday is on December 3, 2013. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, we want the giving community to come together for #GivingTuesday. We ask that partners create and commit to a project for/on #GivingTuesday and then help spread the word to their networks.
Question: What is #GivingTuesday’s mission?
Answer: #GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.
I despise the social-media-ing of every single thing on the internet or TV nowadays and normally I would lampoon hashtagging in general information or conversation, but I will give this a pass considering the sharing of THIS information is actually worthy!
Giving donations as gifts is a practice I really love. Depending on your socioeconomic status and/or age, there probably aren’t a lot of things you need at the Holidays anymore. More often now I find myself racking my brain for things to tell my parents, or aunts and uncles, or boyfriend’s parents, to buy me, because usually if I want something I just buy it myself (see: Black Friday). So the last few years at least with my friends, we’ve been doing donations. It’s a really nice thing to do when you want to give to someone, because you’re giving them a gift and you’re also giving someone you don’t know, a gift in the process.
Here are some sites I’ve given to before that you can consider this Tuesday, this Holiday season, or any time of year:
GreaterGood – This site allows you to choose tangible items to donate to any cause you care about – world hunger, animals, autism, breast cancer, etc. There are lots of specific things that you can “buy,” which it make it more fun to give as a gift.
The FealGood Foundation, or any first-responders charity – I always feel that the people who are running towards the disasters or crisis are never acknowledged enough. Maybe that’s the way they want it, not everyone wants to be regarded as a hero, but in the case of 9/11, many of the people who were “just doing their jobs” have been suffering endlessly since. The FealGood Foundation is a great organization offering assistance to those people.
St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, or your local hospital – St. Jude’s is a place I donate to consistently throughout the year, but if you never have, look over their website to see all of the wonderful things your donation can provide for a child or family staying there. St. Jude and Ronald McDonald House might seem like obvious, large organizations, which is why I mention donating to a hospital or hospital related non-profit program of your choice as well.
Finally, before donating try to research the charities you are considering. CharityWatch, Charity Navigator, and the Better Business Bureau Charities and Donations sites allow you to look into the places you are donating to see what your money is really going towards.