Today is Tuesday.
Not just any Tuesday, but today is known as Giving Tuesday and even has its own hashtag, #Giving Tuesday.
You can read more about Giving Tuesday here.
The idea behind it is a simple one, and it makes me wonder why we didn’t think of this sooner. We have Thanksgiving on Thursday where we give thanks for all we have. We then flow right into Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where we shop, shop, shop. (And I’m generalizing here. I know a lot of people don’t utilize those shopping events or may have other plans, but generally those are advertised mega-shopping events.) The premise behind Giving Tuesday is to take a day after all the getting to focus on giving.
I like it.
And the thing is, I don’t have a lot to give, generally. Lots of people don’t have a lot to give. But, lots more people need so much, so many don’t have even the most basic of needs. Although I’ve always had basic needs, we know what it is to struggle. We know what it is to lose a good paying job, to be living check to check or to be unsure how we’re going to pay that bill or this, how we’re going to afford Christmas gifts. We’ve been there, we know. We’re on our feet now, but there are so many who aren’t. Each year the “so many that aren’t” numbers increase, and the need is intense at this time of year. The holidays, the cold weather, it all makes that need exponentially greater.
So what’s the answer?
I’ve found it.
I could give. We can now spare five, ten, twenty dollars…or I can encourage lots of others to give along with me, and increase my giving tenfold. I can find ways to spread the word, to have people work together for a common goal: the goal of helping others.
And that’s also the premise behind Giving Tuesday. If we all give, if we all focus a day on giving, get together and each give a little bit, imagine what a BIG, HUGE difference we can all make together? I can imagine. I’ve seen it happen.
Last spring, I spearheaded Tiffany’s Care Package, a GoFundMe fundraiser to help a high school graduate who’d just lost her mother. Together, we raised over $4,000 for her.
In the fall of 2013 and again in the fall of 2014, our kids spearheaded Go Orange for No Kid Hungry, a citywide food drive, raising over $2,000 and bringing in thousands of non-perishable food items for our local community support agency.
We didn’t do any of these things on our own. Our $20 or our case of canned veggies would’ve been great, but look how much more, how much better things can be when we all work together,our $20 became part of a much larger amount, part of thousands of dollars. Our dozen cans became thousands of food items.
I think about how we used to teach the concept of communities to our primary grades when I was a teacher. We drew a circle and inside was the student. Then we drew another circle around that one. That was our family. Each circle expanded further and further: our neighborhood, our school, our city or town, our state, our country, our world.
Life is like that. You can do a little bit of good on your own, but just imagine how much good we can all do if we expand our circle beyond ourselves, if we all network and connect together to do a whole lot of good. The world is huge, and yet it’s small too, because we can easily connect with those around us, easily spread the word.
So spread the word. Connect the dots. Help someone out. Give what you can, but encourage others to help give too, and the impact will be that much greater.
Believe me, I know.
Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and that Aristotle, he sure did know what he was talking about.