Giving Tuesday, the annual movement of worldwide “radical generosity,” will be observed Nov. 29 as a kickstart to the kindness and goodwill the last weeks of the calendar year bring.
It can be easier to find online deals on Cyber Monday than charities on the less-observed Giving Tuesday, but their visibility doesn’t dictate their importance. Once you’ve finished checking out on Amazon today, here are just a few of the many ways you can help out and get in the holiday spirit.
Acts of service
Finding an area that needs attention doesn’t demand a ridiculous amount of effort. Whether international or in the neighborhood, compassion is rarely unnecessary.
The Tuesdays for Trash movement was created to counteract pollution and poor waste management around the globe through the efforts of local chapters and communities. Consider bundling up with your buddies and braving the cold to clean up a local park or playground this Tuesday.
The Red Cross will be holding blood drives both by walk-in and scheduled appointments on Tuesday, with plasma centers following suit. A single blood donation could potentially save three lives, Columbia University reports.
Gift of giving
If playing Santa Claus helps to get you in the spirit of giving, local and national drives alike are always looking for donations.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Toys for Tots, founded by Major Bill Hendricks of the Marine Corps Reserve back in 1947. The program’s webpage offers a toy drive locator — to see if your county hosts Toys for Tots — as well as a virtual toy drive, for easier donations.
As we move into the chillier months, coat drives are springing up too. One Warm Coat has partnered with SPARC stores — Aéropostale, Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Forever 21, Lucky Brand, Nautica and Reebok — and J.Crew to collect new and gently used coats for those in need.
Financial donations can make just as much of a difference as direct involvement. If you’re short on time or manpower, large and small organizations alike still need funding to support their cause.
Feeding America directly supports local food banks, pantries and programs to ensure that no one has to go hungry. The organization has partnered with the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to match Giving Tuesday donations up to $1 million.
Perhaps consider supporting a local classroom, as nonprofit organizations such as Adopt a Classroom and Donors Choose allow anyone to help fund the education of students in your area. Many teachers also create Amazon wishlists, as well, to ensure students get the exact number of supplies they need and donors can see what specifically they are giving to the classroom.