Get on board with #GivingTuesday

November 14, 2014

Many years ago when I worked in retail, I remember vividly the importance of Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving, it’s the day where most stores are “in the black” financially.

Years later in 2005, “Cyber Monday” was coined, and online sales followed the trend. As reported in the news, Cyber Monday has become the biggest online selling day of the year.

About three years ago, a New York nonprofit cultural and community center partnered with the United Nations Foundation to create a charitable response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That response was called “Giving Tuesday.” Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, with the goal to bring awareness to the rampant consumerism found at this time of the year and to “celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.”

Since its inception, Giving Tuesday has become a way for people to give to those organizations closest to their hearts. Nearly 11,000 donors from 34 countries gave to missions and ministries that they believe in. From 2012 to 2013, online giving was up over 90% for 3,800 nonprofits. Beat that, Cyber Monday!

I witnessed this celebration first hand a few years ago when my wife wanted me to purchase a cow through a nonprofit as her Christmas present. To be honest, I wasn’t on board yet with giving my wife something like a cow for Christmas, but I could see the joy in her face over the prospect of giving to others.

What does this mean to you… or me? I learned first hand the joy of giving a gift that didn’t come from a store and didn’t have to be wrapped. I experienced the power of a gift that brought delight not just to giver and recipient, but to an unknown someone very far away whose life would be improved by my celebration of Christmas.

If you support Giving Tuesday this year, I ask that you consider Just Hope International. Through our tradition of giving gifts, together we can make an ‘impact that lasts’ in developing nations by instilling hope, restoring human dignity and breaking the cycle of poverty. That’s a gift that will continue to give beyond Tuesday.

To make a donation, visit our Give page.