The holiday season is here, and it can inspire some of the most warm and enchanting moments, tapping into the sincere spirit of the season. I am full of excitement that my little one is slightly old enough at 17 months to grasp all the positive energy in the air. Thanksgiving has passed, and so has the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Depending on your own family traditions, you might be preparing yourself — like I am — to host holiday gatherings and share time with loved ones while cooking, decorating, and gifting.
I also grew up with the internal mantra that “it is better to give than to receive.” No matter how much our capitalist, materialistic culture tries to convince me I should be buying something, I keep finding myself much more content with what I have, not acquiring any more stuff, but instead cultivating more meaningful experiences. Year after year, I remain compelled to give back in my time and/or money by supporting the causes that are near and dear.
I learned about #GivingTuesday nearly five years ago when I began fundraising for my own non-profit organization. #GivingTuesday is a global day for giving that occurs after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, kicking off campaign season for many organizations. In a world where we are beginning to do more and more online, it makes sense to dedicate some of our time in the cyber world for philanthropic activity that is accessible to anyone at any income level. While we might occasionally give to school fundraising, our churches, or a friend’s Indiegogo or Gofundme campaign, #GivingTuesday is perhaps a time to dig deeper, to make an even greater impact. Many organizations and platforms also offer challenge and/or matching grants during this important day to maximize the mobility of all contributions.
And while #GivingTuesday with its hashtag may feel more connected to only online giving, it actually expands beyond what happens in the cyber world to real life experiences. The movement encourages connection to everyday activism and engagement within our local communities — meaning you can give time, labor, and other tangible resources as well. This is a perfect time to reach out to the organizations you love that are doing the work you greatly admire and say, “Hey, do you need anything?” Of course, this is not the only time you can engage in this way, but perhaps it can inspire even greater activity and more consistent civic action. Most important, it is a chance to inspire others in your world to give back as well. A nudge of encouragement or an invitation from a friend to volunteer can go a long way.
So whether you plan to make a contribution on #GivingTuesday or not, consider shouting out the important causes or charities that you believe in so that they can continue to do good work. For those seeking places to give or to provide support, here are a couple ways you can can participate in the #GivingTuesday movement in Tarrant County:
- Volunteer for or donate to your favorite local charity or cause. Ask friends or loved ones if they know of any individuals or families in need of support.
- Participate in #GiveBigDFW, our local hub for #GivingTuesday in north Texas. The Tarrant County United Way is our local headquarters, but here’s a link to all of the organizations participating in #GiveBigDFW.