Fed up with all the commercialism of the season? If you’re looking for an alternative to re-direct your family’s attention, consider Giving Tuesday. I just learned about this new day from one of the participants, World Vision. They sent the information below.
Giving Tuesday began with a simple thought: we designate Thanksgiving as a day for gratitude and Black Friday and Cyber Monday as two days for getting deals. Wouldn’t it be great to have a day for giving back? As a Giving Tuesday partner, World Vision, is challenging Americans to take part in this new national movement on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving by showing they can give as good as they get.
To help those affected by Superstorm Sandy during the week of November 26th, any gift of food, clothing or school supplies for children in the U.S. given through World Vision’s Gift Catalog (www.worldvisiongifts.org) will be designated for the Christian humanitarian agency’s Sandy relief efforts. World Vision relief teams have been distributing much-needed supplies in some of the most vulnerable communities hit by this devastating storm on the East Coast.
“Giving Tuesday is intended to open the holiday season on a philanthropic note and put heart back into the holidays.” says Sarah Renusch, World Vision’s Gift Catalog Director. “World Vision is encouraging Americans to dedicate this day to getting back to the true meaning of the holidays. It is about community not commercialism, giving not receiving.”
There are many ways to participate in Giving Tuesday:
- Volunteer Virtually: Not everyone is able to take off work to physically volunteer, but you can volunteer virtually by donating food kits online through World Vision. Each ‘kit’ contains enough food to feed a family of five for one day ($16 per kit). During the week of Giving Tuesday (November 26 – December 2nd) food kits, clothing and school supplies in the U.S. given through World Vision’s Gift Catalog will be donated to those in need impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
- Give a Meaningful Gift: Share the spirit of Giving Tuesday by giving a gift that can change a life. World Vision’s Gift Catalog has hundreds of gifts such as goats, fresh water wells, and life- saving medicines that can be given in the name of a family member, teacher, co-worker or child and help one of more than 825,000 people around the world who benefit from gift catalog items. Gifts range in price from $16 to $39,000, and there are more than 250 items online to choose from. After purchasing a Gift Catalog item, the person whose name the gift was given in, can receive a special card describing the gift and its impact.
- Teach Generosity: Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for parents, grandparents, and teachers to help children understand the importance of generosity and giving to others. World Vision’s Gift Catalog can be a helpful educational tool. The Pendleton family, of Colorado, adopted their son from Kazakhstan. When he saw the Mongolian Ger in the catalog, he immediately wanted to buy one for people in his homeland. “I didn’t know how to explain to a 10-year-old that $1,862 is a lot of money, so I didn’t,” said mom Amy. “And sure enough, he raised it all!”
“Americans have a glorious tradition of philanthropy,” says Renusch. “It’s my hope Giving Tuesday will become a new, sustainable American tradition that we will celebrate every year.”
Ben Martin is the CEO of THE FATHER LIFE. He lives with his wife and five children in the Rochester, NY, area.