I discovered another yearly event today. I really am wondering how I’ve missed all these special days. As my awareness shifts, I discover so many new things. There’s Thankgiving, for expressing gratitude for all of my blessings. There’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday to purchase gifts for my loved ones. And now I find there’s #GivingTuesday, a day set aside to give back to my community or my favorite charity by way of volunteering my time or making a financial donation.
#GivingTuesday was created in 2012, the idea of the 92nd Street Y in New York City. According to the GivingTuesday website, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”
For my first #GivingTuesday I made the following contributions:
Chase the Chill Joplin.
My friend Ann Leach brought this event to Joplin. Scarves are donated, by dropping them off at one of three collection centers, and will be tagged. They are then hung in public places and are free for the taking for anyone who needs a scarf for warmth. Cities across the US are participating and I’m so glad Joplin is joining in for the first time.
I purchased five scarves today, one in honor of each of my grandchildren. I’ll volunteer as well, to help tag and hang the scarves.
This is a national organization, however I chose to donate locally. I picked this organization because about .96 out of every $1.00 goes toward helping others. The Salvation Army offers assistance to adults for rehabilitation, veteran affairs services, provides ministries to prisons and the elderly, and combats human trafficking. For children they offer hunger relief, Christmas presents, camps and programs, and housing and homeless services. On an international level, they offer emergency assistance services. Joplin certainly benefitted from relief efforts by The Salvation Army after the 2011 tornado.
Joplin Humane Society
I care for mankind. I care for animalkind. The needs are great at this Joplin shelter, which operates at full capacity most of the time. I’ve sponsored animals here before, paying the adoption fees to make the chances of selection for those animals greater, and I’ll do it again. My sister Linda has a dream of opening a shelter as well, someday, that specializes in fostering and adopting out dogs and cats. There’s room in Joplin for more kind people helping animals. I hope to be able to donate to her organization at that time too!
On a global level, I made donations to two organizations. BlinkNow is located in Nepal and is the creation of Maggie Doyne, who founded this non-profit at the age of 19. Their mission is to focus on building community, through caring for children, education, healthcare, empowerment, and sustainability. Maggie has adopted 50 homeless children and built a children’s home and school that provides shelter, medical care, education…and love.
Headquartered in Scotland, Mary’s Meals slogan is, “A simple solution to world hunger” and their mission is to provide every needy child with one free school meal. To accomplish that, they have set up school meal projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. Mary’s Meals was founded in 2002 and has grown from its first feeding operation of 200 children in Malawi, to a world-wide campaign, providing free school meals in hundreds of schools and feeding over 1 million children a year.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to give back, on a local and global level. I share my experience, not for praise, but to live openly and transparently as I journey and to encourage others to follow their hearts. Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving”. Such a true statement. Indeed, I am enriched.