It may sound strange to be sending out a reminder about a thing that everyone will be talking about over the next couple of days, but oddly enough, that’s why it needs to be done. We can get so used to hearing about it that it just begins to blend in with all the other background noise. However, unlike all the other stuff, this really does matter. It always has of course, but especially so this year, with the economy in the state it’s in, everyone and everything seems to need help.
The complication this year is that more and more people can’t afford to contribute like they once did. Just like in the Great Recession, nonprofits are watching their donations disappear, only this time people often can’t safely volunteer their time either.
So, what’s there to do? Simply put, you do what you can. Even if it’s a single dollar, well that’s one dollar more than they had before you gave it. If enough of us do the same, then it can become enough in the end. We all just have to care enough to try. So, reflect on your situation, see what you can do, and participate in this year’s #GivingTuesday …. even if you have to wait till Friday when you get paid to do it, no one will stop you from giving if you’re just a little late. Pitch in folks.
The turkey was great, the sales were nice, and the nap is long overdue. Thus goes the Thanksgiving holiday for many people. What is stirring world-wide criticism, is that despite encouraging thankfulness, it seems that this holiday is instead turning out to be more and more about consumerism; which in turn promotes waste. If that doesn’t sit well with you either, then there’s still time to do something about rebooting this holiday weekend to have true meaning once again. There’s a movement that revolves around this idea, you might even have heard of it before, #GivingTuesday.
This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 3rd, 2019. The idea is a simple one. You simply chose to give back to the world around you, with the goal of helping to make it a better place. To help explain the idea, the official site for the movement has the following opening statement:
“GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.”
If you’re wondering if anyone still truly gives back these days, well it seems that they really do. Thousands of people participated last year, and millions more give back every day, with or without the hashtag as an incentive. Even large organizations make giving back a standard part of their operations.
For example, after this year’s PMA Fresh Summit 2019, the various produce marketers exhibiting there, collectively donated the produce that had just the day before made up their beautiful displays. According to the official press release that followed, it was announced that “Fresh Summit exhibitors donated 228,400 pounds of fresh produce to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.“ Not too shabby a boost in fresh food supplies to local food banks that were starting to gear up for the holiday season. Mid-October finds many people beginning to worrying about the coming expenses they will encounter for Thanksgiving. Those who benefited from this donation would surly agree that being able to take advantage of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and even things like potatoes, garlic, and herbs was a wonderful result of an act of giving. You may not be able replicate such a large donation by yourself, but there are many other ways you can help out.
With the holiday season now in full swing, there are plenty of food and clothing donations going on in every community in the country. If you can add an item or two into the bin, you’ve begun the “giving” process (at it doesn’t only have to happen on Tuesday to count).
If you can’t give a donation like that, there is always a need for volunteers out there. Check with your local schools, libraries, or houses of worship for volunteer opportunities, and sign up if you can.
If “giving” time creates too much of a crunch in your life (hey, we’ve all been there), then there are still ways to help out, which don’t take much time, nor do they even require any money.
One example would be Carter’s children clothing store, and their PJs drive. Working in partnership with the Pajama Program for the past 10 years, Carters has worked to get warm PJs out to those children who are in need, in local communities around the nation. Of course monetary donations to the cause are welcome, but they aren’t necessarily the only way you can get involved. According to the instructions on the Donate PJs website, all you have to do is take a pic with PJ the penguin in your local store, then post it on Instagram @carters, and tag it with #lovecarterspjs. From there, Carter’s tallies the totals, and “for every donation or social share up to 100,000 jammies, Carter’s will donate a pj, too!”
It may seem like a small act of kindness, but if enough small acts are done by us all, then maybe something big can come of it. If you don’t have a Carter’s near you, check with your other retailers, you’d be surprised to find just how many of them are running similar donation programs. For example, Ralphs’ Community Contribution Program offers the option of adding a local charity or school to your Shopper’s club profile. All you do is shop as usual, and Ralphs will donate a percentage of what you spent to that organization (it doesn’t cost you anything but the time it took to sign up). Check with your local grocery store to see if they participate too. If not, Amazon also runs a similar program, check with their customer service for details.
If none of those suggestions appeal to you, then maybe you could help out with a local beach, or park cleanup instead. These go on year-round. Just google it, and see when your local groups have organized one in your area.
You can also help out with a Citizen Scientist project, just check out their list of those projects currently seeking helpers. Some can even be done right from the comfort of your own computer.
However, if you want an option that is literally closer to home, how about checking in with your neighbors to see if they need any help hanging those lights, instead of just waving at them as you drive by. Any little bit can help. Take a moment, and give it a good thinking over. What can you do to help out? For more ideas, check out the #GivingTuesday website. Find something that fits best with want you can handle right now, and pitch-in. So, how might you be #GivingBack today?