A Dozen Ways to Think About Giving Tuesday
The idea is that we ate until we popped, we shopped until we dropped, and now we make ourselves feel better by giving. We all know this isn’t the greatest way to live and we’d probably enjoy it a lot more if we indulged a little less all on one day and treated ourselves more frequently a little here and there. The same is true for shopping. I like to shop all year for gifts for those in my family and community and that makes this season a lot more enjoyable. I thought I’d share a dozen ways that I think about giving all year round. I like that Giving Tuesday is an impetus for us to all give what we can this time of year. You don’t have to do it all one day though for many charities a recurring gift is the most effective. Giving can be thought of in many different ways.
We all have something to bring to the table
You and I and our families can contribute by:
- giving time
- giving money
- giving of yourself to a cause
- giving of yourself to your family
- giving of yourself to you
- giving of yourself to your friends
- giving of yourself to a community member
- giving your voice to a cause
- giving your knowledge/expertise
- giving your woman power/man power
- giving a small note
- giving a secret gift
How do we give?
The Gift of Time
This is a tough one because we all could use the gift of an extra hour or six a day to get through our to do lists. The gift of time though, is something that is so valuable and every time I work a job that isn’t mine I get inspiration for my own life and work. Giving your time to someone or something can give you a renewed energy and perspective and there is no better ROI than that.
The Gift of Money
We can all give some money. We can’t all give a lot of money. An extra dollar in the tip jar is a gift and could turn someone’s day around. A small donation to a cause you want to support adds up if we all give even just a dollar. You can also give by supporting local businesses by simply shopping and dining there. A few traditional charities that I have on my list are: Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Community Servings, Greater Boston Food Bank, Mass. Audubon Society, Human Rights Campaign, WGBH, Partners in Health, CitySprouts, and my local library and school.
Gift to a Cause
Whenever I give to a cause, I like to be sure that my gift is going primarily to the cause I am supporting and not to administrative fees. A great way to find out how far your gift will go is to use a site such as Charity Navigator. Giving to a cause does not have to be monetary. You can often donate items or time to places such as Cradles to Crayons.
The Gift of Yourself
We all take ourselves for granted. We easily forget that we something to offer to family, to ourselves, to friends and to community members. You have something special about you. Well lots of somethings that you take for granted every day. Your normal thoughts and actions are a gift to someone else who doesn’t see or approach things the way you do. First, acknowledge what it is you have to offer. If you can’t see it, ask a friend because they do. It may be that you can offer a listening ear or a thoughtful comment. It may be, that you are just the person for a laugh or a jar of soup. You deserve to have a little of yourself too. If you are constantly giving to others you will need to recharge. Take time to do something for yourself so that you can continue to give.
The Gift of Your Voice
Use your voice, whether you are calling a senator to let your voice be heard or are using it to speak out about an important cause. Use your voice to help those who don’t have a voice or don’t have as loud or as privileged a voice. We are all so busy scrolling and watching and reading that our voices are too often resting. Your voice is a powerful tool not when it’s easy to speak up but especially when it is hard.
The Gift of Your Knowledge
Everyone has knowledge, skills and experience. The more we learn, the better we become as individuals and as a community. The more we teach the strong we become as a community. Donate your skill to a project, a new business, a local community center.
The Gift of Your Wo(man) Power
We have physical strength that we can share. The leaves need raking or the trash bins need to be taken out. Lend a hand to a friend or neighbor who may need a little extra wo(man) power.
The Gift of a Handwritten Note
Taking the time to write to someone is always appreciated. A short little note card or a long letter is a treat.
The Anonymous Gift
Sometimes it is nice to give a gift for no reason and no recognition. Perhaps you have an extra tin of cookies that you secretly drop off at a friend’s house. You take it upon yourself to clean up a neighbor’s yard while they are away for the weekend. There is something very rewarding about an anonymous gift.
So there are a dozen ways to think about giving. You probably give in many ways every day. Pat yourself on the back and keep up the good work.