Giving Tuesday 2017

I’m getting a very late start on my blog post tonight, due to a full day. However, I paused long enough to honor the day, which is Giving Tuesday, and make donations to the organizations of my choice.

Giving Tuesday, also referred to as #givingtuesday, is an international day set aside for donating funds or time to charities and organizations around the world.

This special day, which is always observed the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation.

I learned about #givingtuesday in 2015, and it has become a yearly event for me. I typically celebrate Thanksgiving with family, and devote focused awareness on gratitude. I sometimes participate in Black Friday. This year I did. I sometimes participate in Cyber Monday. This year I did. Since learning of Giving Tuesday, I have always participated.

Here are the recipients of my donations this year:

BlinkNow – Created and run by 31 year old Maggie Doyne, this organization is in its 10th year. Traveling after high school graduation, Maggie was deeply touched by the children in Nepal, who were living in destitution. With her savings of $5000, Maggie began to care for children who were without parents, homes, education, medical care and basic necessities. In 10 years she has built a children’s home, a school, and a women’s center, and her organization provides necessities, education and medical care. Maggie is Mom and guardian to 50 children.

Check out BlinkNow HERE.

TOGETHER RISING – founded by blogger, author and activist Glennon Doyle, this organization began through Glennon’s blog, Momastery. Women began reaching out in tangible ways to help each other. Today Together Rising restores hope by helping women and families in crisis and by responding immediately to disasters around the world by raising and sending funds and necessities.

Check out TOGETHER RISING HERE.

World Vision – this Christian based organization has created programs that benefit children, families and communities in need, around the world. They offer child sponsorships, medical and school supplies, food, sustainable living by way of seeds, fruit trees and farm animals, clothing and clean water.

Learn more about World Vision HERE.

Haven of Hope Rescue Foundation and Carthage Humane Society – both of these organizations aid animals by rescuing dogs (Carthage rescues other animals as well), and helping to place them in foster homes and ultimately into forever homes by way of adoption.

Haven of Hope, based in the Oklahoma City area, has saved hundreds of dogs since 2009. Check them out HERE.

And Carthage Humane Society has been in operation since 1948. Their mission is to provide a safe haven for animals in their care and aid in finding suitable homes for those pets. Find out more about them HERE.

Of course, donations and the volunteering of time and services can, and should, take place year round. I am grateful though, in the midst of this busy holiday time, that there is a special day for focusing on those people and organizations that live the giving lifestyle 24/7. These people and groups are making a difference in the world. Our attention and awareness, our funds, our time, supports them in their efforts.

And that is such a good thing. That’s #givingtuesday. Together we can change the world.

Together Rising Letter Writing

Last year during the holidays, I discovered a group that practices the Twelve Days of  Christmas by promoting the sending of an encouraging letter to someone each day. I loved that daily activity of pausing to gather my thoughts and then directing them toward another in need of comfort or cheer. 

Recently I was thinking about that letter writing campaign, and lo and behold, another organization asking for hand written letters was revealed. Ask…or even wonder…and you will receive. 

Together Rising Letter Writing
Together Rising, founded by author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton, has this purpose, as stated on their website:

Together Rising offers support and assistance to people who have no where else to turn. As we give and receive we become connected to one other– understanding that sometimes people just need a little bit of help during difficult seasons of life. One of the most beautiful things about Together Rising is the remarkable number of recipients who turn around and become givers, adding their gifts to our community so that others may rise as well.

Together Rising receives requests for help every day from individuals with needs great and small. Your donations go directly to help families in crisis. Often all people need is a little help… gas money to get to the hospital, groceries to put food on the table, or shoes for kids who don’t stop growing during difficult times.

One of the ways Together Rising offers into the lives of others, I just discovered, is through writing letters of encouragement. This evening, after spending time planting and watering in my backyard garden, centering myself and opening my heart wide to the flow of love and joy, I read through a list of requests for cards or letters and picked out four people to write to. 

Together Rising Letter Writing
Kyle is an 11 year old survivor of abuse. Spencer has a painful eye condition that may result in the loss of that eye. Ben is celebrating his 100th birthday on July 31. And Bob and Cathy have had many health challenges recently as they journey together. 

I wrote encouraging notes to Bob and Cathy, and to Spencer. In Spencer’s bio it said he is so excited when he receives letters that he sleeps with them. Ben would like to receive postcards from all 50 states in the US, for his birthday. I will go to a local truck stop tomorrow and see if I can locate a Missouri postcard. 

Kyle’s story touched my heart deeply. He was sexually abused for two years by someone outside his immediate family. He is struggling, and understandably so. His parents asked for light hearted letters that do not mention the abuse. His bio says he likes animals. 

I appreciate how inspiration guides me. I began a card to Kyle without knowing exactly what I was going to write. But I began the action anyway. I wrote that I have cats…and then a funny story came to me. I shared with Kyle about the friendly possum who has let himself into my house, using the cat doors. I hope the tale brings a smile to his face and his heart. 

Tomorrow these missives of hope and encouragement will go out. I appreciate the opportunity to write, making life a little more tender for these four recipients. 

If you feel drawn to send letters to people who could use some extra love in their lives, please visit Together Rising. And then grab a pen and a stack of notecards. 

Together Rising Letter Writing