Get over the Gimmick of Giving Tuesday

If you don’t know how many shopping days are left until Christmas, social media and your inbox will make sure you never forget. None of us escapes the sales pitches, the buy-one-get-one frees, or the gimmicky Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Everyone wants our money this time of year, which can leave many to overlook one Facebook advertisement worth paying attention to: Giving Tuesday.

Today is Giving Tuesday, the one day we can all come together and take positive action. For many of us, 2017 has been a difficult year, whether it be disasters in Puerto Rico and Texas, the humanitarian crisis in Syria, daily reports of sexual misconduct, or a partisan government that seems to have forgotten us. That can leave us feeling frustrated and helpless to make a difference.

But today is our day. The day we can take action and make a difference. Our communities depend on it. We depend on our local nonprofits to provide support to our sick, our children, our elderly and animals, and our environment. They play a role where our schools, government, and social networks cannot.

Last year Giving Tuesday raised $168 million for thousands of non-profits. Locally, holiday giving helped organizations like Heading Home, a Boston-based homeless services agency, which provides shelter and services for single moms and their young children. Heading Home raises much of their annual budget during the holiday push, which translates into help with childcare and job search.

I say, let Giving Tuesday be your stake in the ground and an opportunity for you to reconnect to a cause you care about, to recalibrate yourself around giving back. This is our day, the day we get to rise up together and make positive change for our communities. Giving Tuesday can be about more than just money; it can be about volunteering time or providing skills and resources.  Often, there is no better feeling than that of making a difference just by showing-up.

During this giving season as nonprofits are hard at work, planning and executing their end-of-year campaigns, you might find, like the Facebook ads, that the messaging emails and ask letters are overwhelming.  Take a moment to pause. Make Giving Tuesday your day to make positive change for a cause near to your heart.