Many of us have participated in a plethora of retail shopping days this week. The Black Friday event is filled with all kinds of shopping options at interesting hours of the day where stores are open and shoppers can seek those “once in a lifetime” deals. Black Friday is followed by Small Business Saturday where shoppers can go to shops that are more community-based and specialized. The third opportunity is Cyber-Monday where online specials are available. Already we have experienced record numbers in purchasing throughout our country as we prepare for gift-giving this holiday season.
What is often not mentioned is Giving Tuesday. Some may ask, “What is that?” Here is the summary from the Giving Tuesday website:
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, events, and ways to give back in your own community.
I can’t think of a better end to all the days of holiday rush sales and a great beginning to our 2019 holiday season than to have a day to give back. Perhaps you know of someone close to you who is in need. Perhaps an organization that you value has a special project you can give to. Maybe your church has a ministry to help families during the holiday season with some practical needs like providing presents for their children.
In an article that illustrates this type of giving, a young waitress had the routine of walking seven miles to work and back home every day. A couple who she was serving heard her story, left the restaurant and returned with a used car that they gave to her. They had such admiration for her diligence, work ethic and the extent she went to in order to maintain her job that they wanted to help her tangibly. Obviously, she was ecstatic at their generosity which would come to make a huge difference to her life. This is truly the spirit of the holidays.
I hope all of us can take a few moments to reflect and think about those in our spheres of influence who may be impoverished in one way or another. Our gifts of compassion and generosity will be returned many times to those who have significant life needs.