Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday … and now, Giving Tuesday. But rather than a day dedicated to the promotion of consumerism, Giving Tuesday is about kindness and charity, making it a perfect bookend to Thanksgiving Thursday. All that is asked is for participants to find a way for their family, community, company or organization to come together to give something.
Started by New York City's 92nd Street Y — and with strong support from United Nations Foundation and an impressive team of "influencers" — the mission of the campaign is to "create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations."
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People are encouraged to be generous in whatever ways that matter to them, whether that means volunteering or donating to a small charity or doing something more dramatic. Donations to local food banks and animal shelters or other nearby non-profits are great; if you prefer to go with a larger organization, here are five official partners of the Giving Tuesday campaign.
1. Heifer International
Heifer International is dedicated to the idea of teaching communities to be sustainable. Rather than giving handouts, donors can give livestock and beehives, for example, so that communities can have both food and income, as products like milk, eggs and honey can be sold and traded.
2. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has been closely aligned with Giving Tuesday and as an official partner, operates 7,546 centers in communities across the United States. These include "food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, anti-human trafficking efforts, and a wealth of children's programs."
3. World Food Programme
The World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger globally. They aim is to get food to where it is needed, whether during natural disasters, war, civil conflict or other emergencies. The organization is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that allows people to help students in need. Public school teachers from all over America share classroom project requests on the site, and donors can give any amount to projects that resonate with them.