This time of year is hard to get through without being sucked into all the hype of Black Friday, which has now turned into really a month-long shopping extravaganza. Black Friday type deals started as early as November 1st and more and more Americans left their Thanksgiving dinner tables to be first in line to buy the latest gadgets and best deals. All of this is a bit inevitable, but when the smoke of Cyber Monday, the last official shopping holiday before Free Shipping Day on December 18 (the last day to get items regular shipped before Christmas) has cleared, let's spread the good word of Giving Tuesday. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
It's a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you're giving. Chances are you give in some way year round, but spreading the word of Giving Tuesday invigorates people around the world who might not be aware of how they can give, or just inspires people to do a little something extra on December 2.
Here at House Party we're going to be visiting our local Food Bank to donate some time to help families in our area that are in need.
5 ways you can give back on Giving Tuesday
1. Donate money
If you're in a position to do so, donate money to a cause that matters to you. Whether it's a homeless organization, animal shelter, cancer society or other non-profit organization, putting aside a part of your holiday budget for this purpose will make you feel good all season long.
2. Donate your time
Your time is just as valuable as money, sometimes even more so. Pick a homeless shelter (for people or animals!), organize a food drive, or collect blankets or toys from friends and family and donate or cheer up the sick and/or lonely with a visit (nursing homes or children's' hospitals). Visit Volunteer Match to find opportunities in your area to volunteer.
3. Pick a charity and tell all your friends in lieu of gifts, you'll be donating to this charity.
Or, host a giving party and have everyone bring a toy to donate to a local children's hospital or toy drive.
Yes, even shopping can help out. Check off items on your holiday list by searching for stores and companies that support charities by giving percentages of profits to them. There are many, but here are 5 easy places to get started:
- Target partnered with TOMS this year, and for every Target + Toms item you purchase, they give shoes, a blanket or meals to those in need.
- If you're shopping on Amazon, simply type in smile. before the URL (smile.amazon.com) to shop Amazon Smile and they'll donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.
- Shop for wine at One Hope Wine and they'll donate to a specific cause or some purchases are split across many. They've donated over $1.3 million in the last 5 years!
- Shop for these plush toys or books at Kohl's and they'll give 100% of the net profits to kids health & education initiatives nationwide. They've donated over $257 million since 2000.
- Purchase a very unique piece of jewelry at The Giving Keys. This company exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys that get sold and shared around the world. Each key is unique and carries a message like HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAM or COURAGE.
5. Spread the word!
Just spreading the word of Giving Tuesday to your friends, family, Facebook friends and beyond can do a world of good in getting the word out and encouraging others to give back. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join the conversation.
Of course you can visit the Giving Tuesday website to find even more ways of giving back.
How do you give back during the holidays and throughout the year? Let us know and we may feature your comment on our Facebook & Twitter handles as we celebrate #GivingTuesday tomorrow.