Giving Tuesday Is Welcome Charitable Break From Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Lifestyle| | By Jason Owen
Every year over the post-Thanksgiving weekend, millions of people flock to stores and websites in droves to take advantage of the “biggest deals” of the year in what often represents the worst of Christmas gift-giving. But a new movement is hoping to display the best of the Holiday season by giving back.
Giving Tuesday is a day where millions of Americans get into the charitable spirit of the season by donating their time, money, and whatever else they can to those less fortunate.
For 12-year-old Ethan Moran, he’s been excited about this day for a long time coming.
“All of us on Black Friday just think about ourselves and we don’t think about the people who don’t have the things we have,” said Moran, a seventh-grader who lives in Potomac, Maryland. “It’s important to participate, especially in a homeless shelter because you get to give people something you have, instead of just getting something for yourself.”
Today, Moran and his mother, Allison Buckholtz, are heading to Stepping Stones Homeless Shelter in Rockville, Maryland, to volunteer in the kitchen, play with the kids, read, and share a meal with the families at the shelter, NBC News reported.
Giving Tuesday is a movement started in 2012 by the 92 Street Y in New York City, a nonprofit cultural center in upper Manhattan. While relatively new, the movement has been a boon to charitable funds since its inception.
By one estimate, the viral hashtag #GivingTuesday generated approximately $46 million in donations in 2014. That number has steadily risen since the movement started just a few years ago.
But there’s still plenty of room to grow.
Only an estimated 18 percent of Americans are familiar with the charity day, a John Templeton Foundation survey showed.
From NBC News:
“This year 35,000 nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses in almost 70 countries have signed on as Giving Tuesday partners, hoping to capitalize on the trending hashtag and media coverage of the nonprofit sector with unique campaigns.
“For example, Dress For Success, a nonprofit that provides interview garb to low-income women to help them land jobs, is promoting #GivingTuesday along with their #GivingShoesDay drive in the hopes that more women will donate their professional shoes for disadvantaged job seekers.
“There’s also the #UNselfie. That’s a picture highlighting a supported cause or organization rather than a selfie of your mug, designed to be shared far and wide on social media.
“‘It’s a win, win for everyone,’ said Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog, a website devoted to helping nonprofits harness the power of social media.”
With such a simple act, people from all walks of life can come together to celebrate the real spirit of the Holiday season.
“Giving Tuesday really makes it easy for people of all ages to come together and do so much for social good,” said Kim Meredith, executive director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. “[It’s a great way] for millions of people to think about how they can convert their passion into impact.”