The first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday. Developed in 2012 as a response to the spectacle of Black Friday and its online cousin Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday has grown to a worldwide movement that promotes generosity instead of consumption, giving instead of taking. Here are five great ways to do some good in the world today.
For the builder: As this is a construction blog, I’ll begin by advocating Habitat for Humanity. Habitat builds houses for families with enough income to maintain a house but not enough income to buy one. Most of the materials and labor come from donations. $10 buys a box of nails; $150 buys a front door.
For the teacher: The National Farm to School Network brings healthy food into school cafeterias, and a nutrition curriculum into classrooms. The organization also helps to build school gardens for the ultimate in locally-sourced food and agricultural education. Any gift you make this year from November 24 through December 1 will be doubled by Newman’s Own Foundation.
For the athlete: Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports enables people with mental and physical disabilities to enjoy skiing and other sports. Above is a picture of Joseph, aka Hank the Bus Driver, whom I had the privilege of skiing with last winter. This year, an anonymous family donor will match all gifts made on Giving Tuesday up to $20,000. It’s a great chance to make a difference!
For the humanist: The United States aims to offer the world’s best standard of living. That’s not a political issue. A staggering number of people around the world would give the skin off their backs to live here, and thousands have endured more than two years of red tape to prove they deserve the privilege. You can help give them a warm welcome by supporting the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
For the volunteer: If you would rather donate your time than your money, head on over to Volunteer Match. This website connects you to a plethora of one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities in your community, allowing you to choose the causes you care about most. I just tried it for myself, and Volunteer Match found 153 openings near my rural Vermont location, including a reading mentor at local elementary schools, a Meals on Wheels driver, and a wildlife activity observer.
What will you do for Giving Tuesday? Leave a comment… don’t worry, no one will think you’re a boaster.