We all know about the big shopping days ahead fueled by crazy discounts, the national media hype, and store openings in the middle of the night. Black Friday, Cyber Monday – they sound like low budget, bad action movies to me. It seems like the holiday that used to be revered as a time to give thanks has turned into a commercialized event centered around consumerism and greed.
That’s why it is so encouraging to see a new mission on the horizon that’s a refreshing alternative to the “me first” approach this time of year. #GivingTuesday is a new event coordinated by charities and corporate sponsors encouraging Americans to make the Tuesday after Thanksgiving a day of giving to those in need.
That’s right. Rather than encouraging reckless spending, bargain chasing, and growing the GDP, #GivingTuesday is aimed at raising money for charities that truly make a difference and help others. As we at Zuma Office Supply like to say, that’s a really cool way to “Do Good Work”!
“We have two days that are good for the economy. Here is a new day that is good for the soul,” said Henry Timms, deputy executive director of strategy and innovation at 92nd Street Y in New York City, where the idea began. There are 800 partners participating, from non-profits to corporations, and Timms credits the social-media community with growing the momentum.
It’s estimated that consumers spent over $14 billion last year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone. Just think if this movement could get Americans to donate only 2% of what they are spending, giving back to charity during #GivingTuesday. That would raise over $280,000,000 for charities who really need the support.
Many charities are struggling with tight budgets during this tough economy; the recession has hit charities hard. According to Giving USA, Americans gave $298 billion in 2011, well below the peak of $310 billion in 2007. The thought is to get people to stop shopping for 15 minutes, get on the computer, and send a small donation to your favorite charity. To this, we at Zuma say hurray! What a fantastic idea.
It reminds me of an anonymous quote that’s poignant this time of year.
“Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.”
To learn more, and see ideas on how to drive local events supporting this amazing idea, go to givingtuesday.org, or follow the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter.
Happy Thanksgiving & a joyful #GivingTuesday!!!