2020… The year that has seen parts of the world ravaged by bushfires, the entire world go into lockdown mode in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and widespread protests because yet another person of colour was killed in police custody. But rather than wondering how in the world this year could get even worse (not forgetting we still have 29 days to go!), it’s time to think about the good things in life. Because… ’Tis the season for feeling charitable!
That’s right. Yesterday, we celebrated GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States where people are encouraged to celebrate giving to others and charitable work. It is flaunted as a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world”.
GivingTuesday began as an idea in 2011 to urge shoppers to consider donating to charity after they had finished with the mayhem of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. As a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season, the initiative was later formalized by the 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. In 2019, GivingTuesday (or #GivingTuesday for the purpose of hashtag activism) was spun out into its own organization.
Many businesses and leaders have gotten involved and advocated for the initiative since its inception. Facebook, PayPal, the Case Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have matched donations; Google+ has held a “hangout-athon” in celebration, and other organizations such as Skype, Cisco and UNICEF have joined in as partners.
So, how can one help? There are many different ways, including these ideas…
- (You Know You Got) Skillz? Why not share them… You could code, unleash your inner chef and cook for those in need, or help to educate children. For a little inspiration on other skills to tap into, Catchafire is a great place to start.
- If this year has been good to you, and you have all the money, money, money… moneyyyy, why not be a do-gooder and spread the wealth. After all, money makes the world, and charities, go ‘round.
- If you have a little extra time on your hands, well, use it. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community. Homeless shelters, food pantries, national parks, local libraries, political campaigns and animal rescue shelters are just a few ideas to spark the inner-helper in you.
Whether it’s helping a neighbor, sharing gratitude to frontline workers, advocating for an issue, donating goods or extra supplies, sharing a skill or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts. Dig deep, we need it after the year we’ve had!
Lauren Thurin, Vice President, Business Development
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, there was a special #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, 2020. This elevated the movement beyond a holiday season effort and raised more than $503 million for relief efforts. According to their website, #GivingTuesdayNow is organized by GivingTuesday, in partnership with its global network of leaders, partners, communities, and generous individuals.
At FWP, we were lucky enough to participate in the Salvation Army and Walmart Angel Tree initiative, selecting gifts for families that don’t have the ability to surprise their kids for the holidays.
To celebrate #GivingTuesday, Penguin Random House pulled together some of their favorite ways to give back and support books and reading this holiday season. There’s even tips on how to give the gift of reading, literacy and education through their long-time charitable partners.
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