Scooch over, Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. There’s a fourth holiday in the mix, making our fall U.S. Holiday trio a newly formed quartet.
It’s called Giving Tuesday. In its second year, Giving Tuesday has already gained a remarkable following. Here’s how the movement is explained on its Web site:
“We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back. On Tuesday December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.
“It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.”
In short, Giving Tuesday is a call to give to the charities and nonprofits that serve the needs of our world. There are several reasons why I love this movement.
First of all, Giving Tuesday rallies support, attention, and excitement to good causes that depend upon funds—actual dollars. In working with nonprofits, I’ve discovered that sometimes donors prefer to give tangible goods because they fear cash will be misused. Such gifts, however, often require an already strapped nonprofit to spend money for shipping and distribution—and rarely touch the systemic issues we need to battle. (See the CAPC article I wrote after the Oklahoma tornadoes.) My recommendation? Get informed and give cash. Find a few reputable, trustworthy organizations, doing work you are passionate about, and give generously.
Second, Giving Tuesday nudges us to do good during the holidays. In the hustle-and-bustle of my gift-hunting, crowd-navigating, cookie-baking, and family-hosting, I can get forget that others are facing deeper needs of hunger, oppression, poverty, illness, and more. Giving Tuesday prompts me to remember and to call others to give too, because Scripture calls us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24, ESV). I say, let’s do this thing.Third, Giving Tuesday rallies us to a cause greater than ourselves. Christmas has become the epitome of warmth and love and togetherness. But this one, singular day cannot possibly be the cure-all for our hearts’ aches. Christmas can even magnify feelings of loss, disappointment, pain, grief, and the like, just as CAPC editor-in-chief Richard Clark detailed in his Christmas piece last year. Giving Tuesday is a way for me to look to the needs of others and remember the bigger picture of Christmas, which includes me but is not all about me.
Giving Tuesday is more than just a transfer of cash, however. Look at it like this:
I can give a family for life and a bright future to girls in India who were at great risk of being trafficked by giving to As Our Own.
I can help spread the hope and joy of most beautiful story—the Gospel—to others by supporting the work of Spread Truth.
I can provide food to families in need in my region and beyond by giving to Midwest Food Bank.
I can help women recover from the trauma of sexual exploitation here in the States by giving to Wellspring Living.
I can support the clean water access programs for the people of Africa by partnering with Blood:Water Mission.
I’m still sorting out my giving plan for today, but these are the organizations I know and trust. And when I consider the impact my giving could have, I am humbled and excited. How will you participate in Giving Tuesday? Share your ideas and tips in the comments.