We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. ― Winston Churchill
We call this the Season of Giving, but it doesn’t always feel like that. One of the things that I dislike about this holiday season is that the “consumer” tends to comes out in all of us. We find ourselves rushing around, frantically buying random stuff or obligatory gifts for each other, instead of slowing down and giving back to people, animals, or organizations that need it most.
This season our family has decided to donate to each other’s favorite nonprofit organization instead of buying each other gifts. I have been asking for my family to do this for over a decade, but this will be the first year that we finally do it! I am so grateful to be giving to others in need, instead of receiving.
Recently I was excited to learn that the idea of giving to ones truly in need has gone global! Last year a new movement was started to create a national day of giving to kick off the season of giving! It’s called Giving Tuesday! And it’s today!! Each year it falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday to encourage the shopping community to start the season by giving back. Since there are two days dedicated to shopping in connection with the holidays – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shouldn’t there be at least one day focused on giving back?
Over 8,000 organizations in all 50 states have signed up as partners with Giving Tuesday! As I mentioned, this has gone global: significant Giving Tuesday campaigns are under way in countries all over the world, including Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Argentina and Singapore.
Giving Tuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. It was created to foster giving during a time of the year when there is a lot of focus on shopping.
Do Good Works and Help the Ones that are Doing Good
Giving Tuesday is a wonderful opportunity for us to give our money and resources to non-profit organizations who are doing great things behind the scenes and trying to make this world a better place for all living beings.
Countless non-profit organizations have signed up to be a part of Giving Tuesday to encourage people to help them out this holiday season! Even animal shelter organizations are participating in a nationwide online donation drive. Here are just a few cool ways to help people and shelter animals in need:
- The National Animal Shelter Campaign is designed to raise pet food and other supplies for many of the shelters and rescues doing Good Work 24 hours a day. You Give Goods allows people to contribute to the campaign by simply visiting their website at You Give Goods Loves Animals. From their website you select an organization to support, and then you choose the items you want to purchase, such as pet food or cleaning supplies. You Give Goods then handles the delivery of the donations to the shelters. Your donation will be delivered for you, directly to the shelter or rescue! It’s that simple! Learn more here.
- In addition to the animal shelter campaign, You Give Goods also is conducting a Fresh Produce Drive to provide donations of nutritious food for people in need.
- The Morris Animal Foundation has an incredible opportunity to make your donations go further! A donor has agreed to give $100,000 to Morris Animal Foundation if they are able to raise the same amount by December 31, 2013. This means that if you donated $25, $50, or $100, their benefactor will double that donation! Check out how you can make your donation go twice as far and do twice as much good for animals through the Season of Hope Gift Match!
- Feral Fixers has also been blessed with two donors who have offered to match up to $2,000 worth of donations Giving Tuesday. The funds will help support spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and other costs associated with their Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs and rehoming the strays they take in. Feral Fixers has spayed and neutered 6,000 cats in six years! Click here to donate, and reference “Black Cat Fundraiser”!
Tis the season to be unselfie
If you are on any kind of social media or networking site, chances are you have seen the famous “selfie” pic. If you have not seen this, you can learn about what it is here. Fortunately, there is now a new trend to turn the selfie into an “un-selfie”.
This year was the year that “selfie” was named word of the year. ~Seriously. But fortunately now there is a less selfish twist to it. We are encouraged to post an “UNselfie” to our social media channels to spread the message of the season of giving. This is how you do it:
1) Take a piece of paper and write the name of a charity you support.
2) Take your picture holding up the piece of paper in front of your face.
3) Upload the photo to your favorite social media page (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or your blog) and remember to include the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie.
Note: Sharing your charitable efforts during this time of year isn’t intended to glorify your efforts, or your virtue, but rather to inspire others to give, and to educate your friends and family about the organization you choose to support.
You can see more creative Unselfies here!
Gifts for the Givers
Are you a volunteer? Do you work for a nonprofit? Do you rally for a cause? The Case Foundation is kicking off this Season of Giving with the 5 Giving Tuesdays campaign. When you visit their site and share how you’ll give back, you have a chance chance to win $100,000 in grants and prizes! Visit here to learn more!
You can also download a helpful tool from Nonprofit Toolkit and add your logo, message and direct giving URL to kick off your giving season!
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.― Charles Dickens
Conscious Companion Recommended Organizations
How You Can Support People, Nature and Endangered Species Through Online Donations:
- Turtle conservation: Turtle Survival Alliance
- Parrot conservation: The Bird Endowment
- Iguana conservation: The Blue Iguana Recovery Program
Hunger and Poverty Global Assistance: Heifer International
- Sheep Dog – Impact Assistance
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Habitat For Humanity
- Robeson County Humane Society’s No-Kill Animal Shelter
- Not For Sale
- The Humane Society
- Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
- Even trees are getting a lot of love during this season of giving: Friends of Trees
Those are just a few of the organizations that I have worked with or supported over the years. Each one of them makes huge advances in their respective fields, but I know there are millions more that do good work as well. What are some nonprofits that you support? Please share them in the comments below!
For it is in giving that we receive. ― St. Francis of Assisi