What is Giving Tuesday?

Just like the Macy’s Parade ends with Santa Claus, our Thanksgiving feasts often roll right into Christmas shopping. This year, the Black Friday frenzy was almost entirely online, mirroring its Cyber Monday counterpart.

But the spirit doesn’t end there! In fact, there’s one more day of early holiday season festivities, and that’s Giving Tuesday.

What is Giving Tuesday?

We often use the sale weekend to snag gifts for others and, let’s be honest, maybe a little something in there for ourselves, too. While you’re filling your cart, don’t forget the reason for the season: to fill the community with love.

That’s what Giving Tuesday is about. The focus is less on gifting and more on good will.

Giving Tuesday is your chance to truly spread the joy of the holiday season by giving to those who need it most. In some cases, that’s your local community. In others, it’s a cause you care about abroad. Either way, just like cyber shopping, it’s an event you can take part in from the comfort of your home.

How do I get involved in Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday isn’t just about spending money. There are plenty of things you have to give, and it can be as little as attention and kindness.

NBC’s Mario Armstrong is hosting a virtual event this year, inviting all the world to tune in on Tuesday, December 1 at 9am and 7pm EST. The purpose puts the focus on the commitment to neighbors in communities around the globe.

You’ll get to witness stories of inspiration and generosity, and get the opportunity to bring your own generosity to the table.

Philanthropy makes you feel good

Just like clicking “add to cart” gives us a little burst of serotonin, the same experience comes from acts of philanthropy. A 2008 study at Harvard Business School proved that giving to others was an even greater positive influence on our happiness than purchasing something for ourselves.

Giving also promotes a sense of gratitude. We live in a society that is constantly focused on what else can be attained that we so often neglect all the things we already have. Truth is, even in these hard times, we have a lot.

By giving to others, we draw attention to our own good fortune and flood our own hearts with gratitude. It’s a gift in itself to be able to donate to others, and even a small donation where it’s needed can mean the world.

Donating to make a better world

One simple way you can keep the good vibes flowing is to get your whole work squad in on the plan to donate to charity. This small act of kindness spreads kindness, and it can be utterly contagious. While we’re staying distanced to avoid other dangerous contagions, a little love goes a long way.

To take action and make your donation, visit charities.org, and spread the word by being loud and proud about what it means. Tag some photos with #GivingTuesdayAtWork and inspire others in your network to share the wealth of good intentions.

Give more, get More

Giving on your own accord? You can still make the money go for miles. Every dollar you donate through GlobalGiving.org will be matched, resulting in double the donation, double the good vibes.

Last year, this initiative was able to raise $2 million dollars for global philanthropic projects. The best part is, you can find a project that supports the cause you care about most. Your donation will help make it happen. You can choose to have your money go toward:

Funding service dogs for Veterans

Empowering girls and educating youth in Kenya and Uganda

-Supporting education for autistic youth in Venezuela

-Creating safe corridors for wild elephants in Asia

-Providing food for children of Indian slums.

…And plenty more. Browse the full list of philanthropic projects around the world that need the support. Putting just a few of your holiday dollars into these causes is putting real power in the cause for a better world–no matter what area it is that you want to make a change.

Go ahead, keep shopping

Hitting “make a donation” will certainly give you a little cheerful boost. If you’re still itching for those holiday season sales, then make smart and kind decisions about where you shop.

Madewell is making efforts to do good by selling a gift wrapping kit. All of the profits of this kit will go to the No Kid Hungry campaign.

Everlane is doing something similar. They’ve teamed up with Oceana, and aim to raise $300,000 to fund a full year of campaigning to end single-use plastic to save the oceans.

The same way you wouldn’t sleep on a good deal, make sure you shop from the heart. This holiday season, it’s incredibly important to remember to #ShopSmall. In doing so, you’re giving back to those who spend their time, energy, and resources to make beautiful things without the support of stockholders. Like giving to those in need, supporting small businesses is an easy way to look out for your neighbor.

Check out these 20 Black-Owned Businesses featured on Time… or just do a quick search to uncover hundreds of small businesses making hand-made, one-of-a-kind and truly unique items.

Above all, don’t forget the kids. Our Holiday Toy Drive gives you the chance to get to know the kids you’ll be gifting and just how much these kids deserve it.

Put your money where it matters

While you anticipate gifts, keep in mind all the people who have simpler needs: a bed, an education, a meal. During the holidays, being both thankful and generous are simple ways to celebrate the season and boost others up.

So when you’re writing up your Christmas list, make an effort to include “donate to charity.” You’ll feel fulfilled to tick it off, and suddenly very aware of the true meaning of the season. That’s a gift worth having.

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