The True Spirit of the Season - #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday - by Judith Opdahl

Every year, the holiday season starts with one day to give thanks followed by two days – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – for bargain hunting. But the holiday season is and always has been about more than giving gifts – it’s also about giving back.
Generosity is a defining characteristic of the American people, but we don’t have a designated day to celebrate and fuel that generosity. As many Americans recover from a crippling recession, encouraging a collective spirit of giving is especially needed. For this reason, #GivingTuesday has been added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year’s Giving Tuesday is December 3, 2013.

We need to be inspired by our local charities that support the needs of the South Bay Community- the education foundations, our churches, Volunteer Center, Trinity Hospice, Rainbow Services, Friendship Circle, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Richstone Center, Walk with Sally, the many amazing service organizations like Sandpipers and Vistas for Children, Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach - and many more.

For years, retailers have benefited from coordinating national shopping days (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday) around the holidays. #GivingTuesday takes a page from their playbook and creates a day at the beginning of the season dedicated to giving. Of course, organizations and causes need monetary support throughout the year, but #GivingTuesday provides a rallying point for organizations, retailers, corporations, and individuals. #GivingTuesday will serve as a kick-off day to inspire everyone to continue giving in numerous ways throughout the holiday season and year round.

The idea for #GivingTuesday was launched in September of  last year with about 40 partners, large and small, who pledged to help build the movement, spread the word, and come up with creative new ideas around giving. #GivingTuesday has grown into a movement of more than 2,000 partners, including large corporations and small businesses, nonprofits and community centers.

Foundations, charities, businesses, non-profits like Cancer Support Community and individuals across the country are joining forces today to encourage Americans to "give as good as they get" by engaging in charitable giving, volunteering and teaching young people the value of charity.

Why not think outside the gift-wrapped box and start helping to establish #GivingTuesday as a tradition on at least an equal footing with Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Judith Opdahl is the Executive Director/CEO of Cancer Support Community- Redondo Beach. For more information, visit: http://www.cancersupportredondobeach.org/ 


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