Around this time of year, it becomes clear how many recently-invented “holidays” there are. From Black Friday to Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday, there seems to be a plethora of colors and hyper-specific sales peppered into the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s as if retailers only recently realized how willing Americans are to part with their hard-earned money, and decided that the way to take advantage was to create a lot of floating sales.
Amidst all the record-setting retail holidays, Giving Tuesday stands as a bastion of charitable contributions. It’s only 6 years old, so you’re forgiven if it’s escaped your attention thus far, and you won’t find it mentioned in any email blasts with discounts in progressively larger font sizes. That’s because it’s not about saving money, or even buying things at all, but rather about giving back.
Giving Tuesday is the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, which means it moves around from year to year, just like Black Friday, and isn’t necessarily set to a particular date. It’s a day to celebrate philanthropy and the simple but powerful act of giving back. It doesn’t exist to denounce events like the annual Black Friday running of the shoppers, but rather as a complement to it. While everyone is out spending money on new gadgets and clothes, Giving Tuesday presents a time to reflect on those that are less fortunate, and offers an opportunity to extend some help.
NYC’s Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact is the organization that invented Giving Tuesday, and as the day has gotten more recognition (and as the US economy has improved), more organizations have gotten involved each year. This year, over 40,000 organizations across 71 countries are participating in Giving Tuesday, and a simple Google search will show that many non-profits are ramping up their efforts by matching donations received.
In 2017, $274 million was moved as a part of Giving Tuesday, and the organizers hope for an even higher number this year. As the weather gets colder around the country and those in need start to feel the crunch of the holidays, what better time than now to donate?
The CE Shop Foundation has participated in Giving Tuesday in the past, and gladly welcomes donations on Tuesday or any other day. Consider a $4 donation, which feeds a family of four for an entire weekend.