Chances are you’ve heard of “Giving Tuesday”, which occurs annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States. In response to the current pandemic and unprecedented times that we currently find ourselves facing, Giving Tuesday Now was born. On May 5, 2020 will be the first official Giving Tuesday Now day, as a response to the unprecedented needs that have evolved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have all found ourselves trying to juggle a new normal within the past month, whether that be working remotely, homeschooling our children, or suddenly unemployed, we are all dealing with uncertainty. Plans have been cancelled or postponed, birthdays and anniversaries can’t be celebrated how we envisioned them to be; yet we still have so much to celebrate and be grateful for.
It is with this spirit of gratitude that we can participate in Giving Tuesday Now, and give back to our communities, neighbors, friends, and others who are currently struggling. With many people now out of work and a significant number of businesses having to adjust their business model, it is now more important than ever to find ways to give back and support those whose way of life has been drastically impacted. Here are a few ways you can participate in Giving Tuesday Now that doesn’t require a lot of time, money or effort.
$10 and 10 Friends
Going out to lunch with friends, just to go, was a luxury that I enjoyed doing. I’m sure there are a lot of other people who also enjoyed this luxury as well. Currently, being unable to go out to lunch, or gather with large groups of friends has meant I am sitting at home instead of spending money on lunch. As a result, I have the ability to take ten dollars, or however much I typically would spend on lunch and I can donate it and do something good with it. I can donate it to a good cause, I can donate it to my local food pantry, the possibilities are endless. A challenge on Giving Tuesday Now would be to take that ten dollars and do something good with it, and then challenge ten friends, or more to do something good with the money they are saving from not going out to lunch.
Donate to Your Favorite Cause
Everybody has a cause they believe in—ending homelessness, veterans aid, ending child abuse and so much more. On Giving Tuesday Now, take what money you can afford and donate it to a cause or group you believe in or are passionate about. Not sure where to donate or who to donate to, check out all the good causes that are available on agoodcauses.com. When you donate to a cause you believe in and are passionate about, you are helping to create good in the world, especially now during a time of uncertainty.
Order Take Out
Another great way to get involved on Giving Tuesday Now is to plan ahead to order take out from your favorite local restaurant. Everybody has to eat, and while we might not be able to go and sit down inside our favorite restaurant any time soon, many restaurants have implemented takeout options, allowing for patrons to order and receive their menu favorites. This not only gives you an excuse to not cook that night, but you are also doing good by helping a local business keep their doors open.
Adopt a Senior
May typically indicates that the school year is coming to an end and for high school seniors it means that graduation is on the horizon. Unfortunately, due to the current situation, many schools have cancelled in-class learning and substituted with all online classes. This also means many seniors are missing out on their senior prom, spring sporting events, and so much more. Additionally, many don’t know if high schools will be able to hold a typical graduation ceremony that many have become accustomed to. As a result, there are many communities around the country who have implemented “adopt a senior” program. This allows for members of the community to adopt seniors who are graduating high school this year, to provide them with support as their senior year is different than they ever could have imagined. The idea behind “adopt a senior” is to send high school seniors a note, card, gift card, snack or anything to help them feel loved during this challenging time.
Kindness can go a very long way, especially during these times of fear and uncertainty. No gesture is too big or too small, as the recipient will notice and appreciate your kindness. If you have elderly neighbors or family members, offer to pick up groceries for them and drop them off at their doorstep. If you know someone is struggling with fear, anxiety or loss of a job, send them a note letting them know that you are thinking of them. Offer to take a neighbor or friends pet for a walk. We are all at home, take this time to call family members or friends to chat and see how they are doing. Use this time to spread kindness and joy to those who mean the most to us. Additionally, write encouraging notes on your driveway or sidewalk using chalk, or hang an encouraging note in your front window. There are so many different ways in which you can show kindness and love to those around us, which is critical during times of uncertainty and fear.
Giving Tuesday Now is the perfect opportunity to think of others around us and around the globe, and give a little extra to bring a smile to someone’s day or to help lighten their load. These are just a few ideas of things that you can do to participate in Giving Tuesday Now, or any other day when you have the opportunity to give back to others. Think of those around you who could use a little pick-me-up during this pandemic and think about what you can do to help them. Or think of ways that you can give back to your community and make a difference.
During these times of uncertainty and fear, we can all use some extra kindness and generosity, whether we are the giver or the receiver. When we give, we are blessed and experience just as much joy, if not more joy than the receiver. I challenge you to find ways that you can give back to those around you on Giving Tuesday Now, on May 5, 2020 and see how much better you feel after giving back.
Author: Ashley Christensen