Friday, November 23, 2012
Be a Part of Giving Tuesday
Do you know about Giving Tuesday? It's not a new idea, but this year it is blossoming into a national movement. Taking place on November 27th, Giving Tuesday is a call to action that urges everyone to demonstrate generosity and compassion by contributing to their local charities as a way to improve their community.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how I as a parent can help teach my children to be kind, appreciative, compassionate, and giving. How do I develop their ability to see others who are less fortunate and to feel moved to help if they are able? I want so much to instill in them a strong sense of social responsibility, so that they can grow up to be contributing members of our society.
Giving to others is a valuable lesson. It helps us to stop focusing on ourselves for the moment, and to think about someone else instead. I really think that in giving, we become happier. We begin to see how blessed our lives really are, when we see the struggles and challenges that other people often face. Frequently, it makes our own difficulties seem smaller and less serious.
More than anything, I want my children to grow up happy, healthy, and ready to work hard to leave this world a better place.
So this is why I'm thinking hard about Giving Tuesday, and how we as a family can contribute. I see so many options available. Here are just a few:
- Donate items like blankets, socks, or boxes of tissue to our local nursing home,
- Collect canned goods for our local food pantry,
- Giving our local library some of the many books we own and no longer read,
- Buy craft/activity kits to donate to our local nursing home,
- Gather items (shoes, coats, blankets, etc.) to give to our local Mission store,
- Buy, donate, and plant bulbs at our local park.
It is simply a matter of choosing where we want to focus.
But the reality is that Giving Tuesday is so much more than just a one-time event. It is a mindset that should stay with us all year long. How can we make our community a better place? What can we do to improve it for others?
After all of the emphasis placed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is - in my opinion anyway - a better way to help us remember that the important thing in life is not material wealth, but rather the spirit of love, generosity, and compassion.
With this in mind, our local homeschool group got together last week and made Thanksgiving cards for the elderly living at the nursing home here in town. We then delivered them on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. This event touched my 8-year-old daughter. Though she was scared of some of the residents, she bravely entered the rooms with me or the other children, to wish the elderly a happy Thanksgiving and give them a card. Before we left, she asked me if we could do this again soon. I wish all children could experience moments like these and learn to see others with compassionate eyes.
I hope that this weekend you will think about how your family can participate in Giving Tuesday's movement...AND keep it going throughout the year.
For more ideas on how your family can participate, follow #GivingTuesday on Facebook and Twitter. Or simply visit their website.