For many, the holidays bring stress and pressure in not only finding the right gift, but how many gifts to give, what is the best price for said gifts, and of course the annual question on whether to shop or not to shop Black Friday. And as you know, this year Black Friday has even
creeped infringed into our family time on Thanksgiving Day!!
But that is another story/blog for another day.
While all of these things may be seem important, why not stop and take the time to go back to what the holidays are really about, saying thanks and giving back. Here at The Appreciation factor, I’ve found a new way you can do this. You can consider spreading the word and participating in #GivingTuesday 2014. This year, December 2nd will mark the third annual #GivingTuesday.
Haven’t heard about it?
Set on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday was started in 2010 as a global, 24-hour giving challenge created by thought-leaders at the UN Foundation and the 92nd Street Y.
#Giving Tuesday’s focus was to bring back the original sentiments of the holiday season:
- Goodwill, and
And if you’ve been following me/read others posts on this blog, you’ll agree that these are all things I can get my hands around and things I appreciate vs. only looking at the retail side of things during the holidays.
According to Wikipedia, the concept gained steam with the help of founding partnerships with The United Nations Foundation, Donors Choose, Mashable, Global Giving, the Darden Restaurant Group, Groupon, and Unilever and several others. There ongoing success is partly due to the assistance from renewing corporate sponsorships by Google, Microsoft, Skype, Cisco, UNICEF, and the Case Foundation. This participation has helped the #GivingTuesday initiative raise millions of dollars for thousands of non-profits.
Did you know? Americans give more to charitable organizations in dollars ($300B)
Source: Forbes 2014
and as a percentage of the GDP (2.1%) than any other developed country?
There are many non-profit organizations participating/asking for your help on #GivingTuesday, maybe one of your favorites, and many more that truly need our help at this time of year. Plus #GivingTuesday is a great alternative to the pressure to spend, spend, spend on gifts that may not make as much of an impact.
The idea is simple. Give to a non-profit organization of your choice on December 2nd. BUT… don’t feel that the only way that you can give is financially. Here are 3 ways you can make a difference.
- You can post an “Unselfie” (You read that correctly. It’s UNselfie not Selfie.)
In 2013, #GivingTuesday supporters were encouraged to take a photo of themselves or something that represented their giving, upload it to their social media account of choice, and use the hashtags: #unselfie and #GivingTuesday. It was a resounding success and they’ve asked that we take on the Unselfie challenge again this year. Check out mine on the left!
2. Give of your time. Pledge to give 10 mins or 10 hours of volunteer or your expertise to help further their efforts. Every little bit will help.
3. In some cases, you can just simply spread the word, though I hope you’ll do more.
Blink Buggy, a website for uploading/storing your precious images of your children is offering a $1 donation to Baby Buggy, a NY non-profit organization dedicated to providing families in need with essential baby equipment, products, clothing, and services, for every Facebook, Twitter, Instagram post made with essential equipment, products, clothing, and services.
So… What will you do?
For my part, I hope to spread the word through this blog – and hope you will too. I also pledge to give at least 25 hours of volunteer time over the next 6 months (as seen in my Unselfie). I already volunteer at my local PBS station and local food pantry, but I plan to step it up and find at least one other non-profit to offer my services or expertise to in the next 6 months. I’ll also be posting my Unselfie on my TAF Twitter account and on the GivingTues Twitter page, December 2nd.
Want more information/Want to get involved?
- #GivingTuesday Website: Find Events, Ways to give, participating non-profits, and even ways to spread the word/participate if you work for a non-profit. (There’s still time!): http://www.givingtuesday.org/
- To partner (as a non-profit) with #GivingTuesday go to: http://www.givingtuesday.org/partners.html
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GivingTues (Look for my Twitter post of my Unselfie on December 2nd)
- Instagram: https://twitter.com/GivingTues
- Snapchat: givingtuesday
- #GivingTuesday share page: http://www.givingtuesday.org/share-your-story/ – Share what you did or what you plan to give (Photos encouraged!)
Here’s just a quick list of just a small few participating Non-Profits (see more on the Giving Tuesday website & Social Media sites)
- YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Which will help libraries empower teens
- American Cancer Society
- Feeding America
- Water Aid