As someone who grew up outside the continental United States as a missionary’s kid. Thanksgiving was to me an event where my mother desperately searched around for our nearest fellow Americans and invited them to a very complicated dinner at our house that may or may not have included pumpkin pie made with carrots. It was a delicious, roughly six-hour affair, not including cooking and decorating time (which all took place on Thanksgiving Day, if they took place at all).
But after moving to the US, I realized Thanksgiving was a much larger event that had a buildup beginning somewhere around Nov. 1st and included a weeklong extravaganza for Thanksgiving itself that involves the busiest travel day of the year and the dual shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
I also realized that rampant consumerism and feeling sorry for your friends working in retail was just part and parcel to the whole Thanksgiving deal. Which was a little sad considering the holiday itself was founded on gratitude, sharing, and community. That’s why Giving Tuesday was created as a counterbalance to that unfortunate reality, and that’s why I’m so excited to introduce Giving Tuesday to National School Project’s devoted team of partners and supporters!
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday, most often stylized as #GivingTuesday as a type of hashtag activism, is a day of international giving that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving:
“Through a massive social media effort, #GivingTuesday brings together individuals and families, businesses and corporations, nonprofits and civic organizations, and countries across the world to engage in small acts of kindness that show how much we care for one another. Held the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday has gained wide recognition and, for companies, become an important tool to kick off the charitable season of … giving.”
Scott, Ryan. “5 Shortcuts To November 28.” Forbes. Pub: Nov. 02, 2017. [forbes.com].
What is the history of Giving Tuesday?
“Giving Tuesday was created when two organizations, 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012, about a month before that year’s Thanksgiving. Their intention was to set aside a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving, a great American tradition. Many thought leaders in the areas of social media, philanthropy and grassroots quickly joined in, and together they created a group of founding partners including United Nations Foundation, Cisco, Mashable, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Sony, Aldo, Groupon, UNICEF, Google, Skype, Microsoft and Unilever.
The first announcement about Giving Tuesday was made through Mashable, a technology website. The first Giving Tuesday was covered extensively by the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, ABC News, Deseret News, and the White House official blog, causing the scheme to gain an enormous amount of popularity in a short period of time.
Giving Tuesday is organized and celebrated each year with the simple aim of encouraging individuals, families, schools, businesses, and other organizations to give to the less fortunate. A year later, in 2013, even more organizations joined in, including eBay (which gives a percentage of all its sales proceeds from a week in December …) and fashion designer Kevin Cole, who both designed and promoted awareness ID bracelets, giving 100% of the proceeds to [charity]. Giving Tuesday has been praised by many, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper that covers the nonprofit world, as an antidote to consumer culture and a way for people to give back.”
“Tue 28th Nov, 2017 will be… Giving Tuesday.” Days Of The Year. Accessed November 16, 2017. [daysoftheyear.com].
So what does this all have to do with you?
So what does this all have to do with you? At the heart of it all, Giving Tuesday may appear to ride on the waves of consumeristic frenzy like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it is a global day of giving back. And while most of us might not be too keen to jump on the consumerism ship, more opportunities to give, and especially to give to the Lord, are always a good thing.
A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.
– Proverbs 18:16
So we hope you’ll consider partnering with a charitable organization close to your heart. Whether you partner with us at the National School Project, or with some other organization you consider this year, we hope you take this opportunity to kick off the season of giving! To see a full list of those participating, visit www.givingtuesday.org.