The smile spread across her tired face. Appreciation, excitement, and joy were expressed in her eyes. The walls had been painted and organizing the storefront was all that remained. Everything was coming together. Soon the grand opening of her dream-come-true boutique would occur. I was honored to be a small part of this achievement. It felt good to help build roots into the community through the giving of my time. Additionally, I had helped a friend make a small business dream become reality.
Many of us might find ourselves familiar with the traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They have been a historical way of closing out the month of November for decades. Yet, how familiar are we with #GivingTuesday? If, like me, this term is unfamiliar, allow me to introduce you to this day that spotlights generosity. #GivingTuesday occurs annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Therefore, #GivingTuesday will occur on Tuesday, December 1st this year.
What is #GivingTuesday?
#GivingTuesday began in 2012 with the simple mission of spreading generosity. It has now become a global generosity movement. To put it differently, its mission is to empower both people and organizations in transforming their communities. To put it simply: it is a day that encourages communities to focus on unselfishness and extend kindness.
First and foremost, #GivingTuesday strives to “build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we influence together.” Secondly, #GivingTuesday “endeavors to unlock dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe.” Lastly, while its roots have begun in the United States, #GivingTuesday is recognized annually in many countries throughout the world. Countries such as (but not limited to) Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Ghana. What started as a day in the USA has quickly grown to a worldwide celebration of generosity. By and large, all of this has occurred with the underlying shared focus on giving.
First, take a moment to consider your individual gifts and talents. Next, look around. Take stock of items that might be shared with others. Whether you participate within your personal local community or contribute to a larger international non-profit, consider the global impact generated from a spirit that desires to be charitable, thoughtful, and generous.
There are a variety of ways to be a part of #GivingTuesday on Dec 1st, 2020. Whether it is as simple as finding ways to individually give to others of your time, energy or resources, or it is through donating/fundraising from organization to organization; the goal remains the same. Let’s unite and share generosity.
For instance, here are some local and global organizations to consider giving the gift of generosity:
- A local area food bank
- Organize a neighborhood canned food drive and donate collected goods
- Donating/Volunteering time at a local homeless shelter. Consider seeking to build relationships with those less fortunate.
- Donate, volunteer, or host an event for The We Spots leaders’ non-profit, Grace Upon Grace Project. This is an organization that distributes basic necessities like period products, diapers and wipes to under-served families and infants, allowing them to “live and grow with grace and dignity.”
- Organize a shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child. Share the joy of Christmas with an impoverished child by gathering everything from small toys to hygiene items into a shoebox.
- Lastly, babysit for a family/couple who would benefit from the gift of togetherness to strengthen their marriage or relationship.
Furthermore, if your thoughts are focused on a more global scale, GivingTuesday.org has a downloadable toolkit. This toolkit provides a guide highlighting a variety of resources for planning an organization’s #GivingTuesday. Additionally, there is a step-by-step workbook provided online for creating a successful #GivingTuesday. Likewise, there are ideas specifically for small businesses and their contribution to #GivingTuesday.
Virtual #GivingTuesday Ideas
Are you concerned with how to contribute considering we continue to navigate within the throes of a global pandemic?
Have no fear!
The GivingTuesday website also provides information on how to host a virtual rally.
First, take a moment to think about a specific group. For instance, maybe a small group of elderly in a nursing facility. Ponder the ways technology can be used to meet the need for connection. Consider how the center’s Activities Director could assist with ideas and the running of technology. Could this be an opportunity to open the door for virtually leading a creative activity? Or maybe an exercise and movement class? Or might it be a small group book study?
The Gift of Giving Time
In spite of limited physical contact, with a bit of creative thinking, virtual connection between people can be accomplished. With this in mind, consider the impact that comes upon witnessing how we have bridged the gap of loneliness, encouraged activity, and built connection. Afterward, acknowledging these moments by sharing the activity with others, either verbally or through social media, can be of great benefit to many. Sharing our stories inspires others to potentially give of their time, talents, and hearts in equally generous ways.
Created with the simple notion of encouraging generosity worldwide, #GivingTuesday seeks to point the world to focus on the thinking of others. Whether it is through building up your local community or striving to raise awareness for a non-profit; the underlying goal is focusing on the spirit of generosity.
Share Your Story
How can we best serve others? Uphold and encourage others? Not only on this one Tuesday in December but also in light of this current worldwide pandemic?
We all have connections. Let’s seek to unify in generosity, thoughtfulness, and dedication. Together we can do this by raising and uplifting one another in generosity, concern, and meeting each others’ needs.
I look forward to hearing your #GivingTuesday 2020 stories on social media. In the hope that your story can be an inspiration for others, consider using #GivingTuesday in your post. Let’s unite and make a global impact on December 1st through our actions and stories of generosity!