November is full of exciting holidays: Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. Wait, what was that last one? Giving Tuesday? Yes, you heard right. It’s a real event!
Giving Tuesday is a global movement that encourages people around the world to give back to their communities. Keep reading to learn how you can help.
Tell Me More About Giving Tuesday
The 92nd Street Y, located in New York City, created Giving Tuesday in 2012. It aims to connect people across the globe with the help of social media. It’s open to anyone, including individuals, families, small businesses, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and universities. Thanks to social media, it’s easy for different organizations to form partnerships.
For example, Kmart partnered with St. Jude Children’s Hospital one year to create Giving Hats. Kmart sold the hats with a portion of the proceeds going towards the hospital. Not only did this generate more donations for the hospital, it also increased awareness of children’s cancer.
This is just one example of the many creative ways people can come together on Giving Tuesday. Individuals can also contribute by volunteering, donating to a worthy cause, or creating their own fundraising events.
What Can I Do As An Individual?
The first step is to choose a cause that’s close to your heart and look for organizations in your area that you can contact. Here are a few ideas.
There are plenty of nonprofit organizations in West Michigan that could use a helping hand. Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids is always looking for new volunteers. The organization tackles childhood hunger by serving packaged suppers to kids every weekday within classrooms or at local parks.
The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a great choice for outdoorsy types. It connects people to nature through education and hands-on programs. Volunteer positions vary throughout the year and include animal care, office work, and helping with the exhibits.
The West Michigan Center for Women in Transition helps victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse by providing services such legal advocacy and transitional housing. The organization accepts items such as gently used women’s clothing, used cell phones, and personal items like shampoo and toilet paper.
If you’re not too squeamish, you can also find the nearest blood drive in your area and donate blood. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you could even host a blood drive of your own.
What Can My Organization Do?
There are so many things that you can do as an organization. Last year, Marge’s Donut Den in Wyoming set out a donation box for the Women’s Resource Center and gave free coffee and donuts to the first 100 people to make a donation.
You can also participate through social networks. Students at the University of Michigan created a #GivingBlueDay campaign and raised 4.3 million dollars for the school. Other strategies include price-matching or asking people to donate non-perishable food items. The possibilities are endless.
Giving Tuesday is on Nov. 29 this year. Start brainstorming now and find a cause that matters to you.