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Giving Tuesday Comes Back For A Fifth Year

GIVE THE GIFT OF CHARITY THIS SEASON

Tis the season for giving thanks, whether it be for food on the table or surviving such a tumultuous and emotionally draining election season. Christmas lights are going up and people are flooding shopping malls trying to find perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Over half a million people in the US, however, only hope for a hot meal on Thanksgiving day. Homelessness in the US may be decreasing but there are still people sleeping on the streets, hoping to scrounge up enough money for their next meal.

Giving Tuesday, an event that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, kicks off this charitable season. The global movement started in 2012 and is entering its fifth year.

Jamie McDonald works for 92Y, a New York-based Jewish cultural institution dedicated to charity and the needs of the people, in Lead Civic and Higher Ed Campaigns. “They started with a small number of organizations around the country and it really caught fire,” McDonald said on her #GivingTuesday blog. “I think the incredible growth shows that people are hungry to make a difference. It’s not about any one person’s desire to make a difference, it’s really about the sense of all of us doing this together. That has an exponential impact on the world. The original idea grew out of a couple of folks at the Y who were watching the incredible proliferation of consumerism of November and December and put ‘give back’ in the giving season.”

Giving Tuesday isn’t just about giving money, but also giving time. There are several ways people can get involved, from volunteering with a group of people, an organization, or as an individual.

The Giving Tuesday website supplies many options, including a toolkit on how to get started and ideas on what to donate. However, there is not a clear outline or script to follow. Volunteers simply choose how’d they like to make an impact.

This Giving Tuesday, CU Denver held a local shopping holiday event, where non-profit and charitable organizations sold products for the holidays. One hundred percent of the proceeds went to those organizations and the members they serve. The university encouraged students to donate and document along with the rest of the country.

“It’s a complete open movement,” McDonald said. “There’s no centralization. It’s really meant to be a movement that people take and make their own.”

All the movement asks is that participants document their charitable act by using the #GivingTuesday hashtag on their social media accounts. Last year, the movement received 1.3 million mentions on social media, and volunteers and organizations helped more than 700,000 people, raising $116 million online in over 70 countries.

“It magnifies all the small acts of generosity that happens on this inspiring day,” McDonald said. “We work with the platforms and they report to us so that we know how much giving has happened around the country.”

Some global partners include Russia, Croatia, Tanzania, and Mexico. Although the annual movement only occurs once a year, please check out their website givingtuesday.org to learn how to give back next time. 

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