Tuesday was Giving Tuesday and if I had been on the ball I would have written a post urging you to consider giving to your local food bank, pantry or cupboard. As it was, I took some time off for Thanksgiving and neglected to look ahead. Thinking I had missed a perfect opportunity I was a bit down when I realized Giving Tuesday was going to pass by without me being able to write a post about it. As I thought about my missed opportunity I became frustrated that giving was allotted one day out of 365 days in a year. Consequently, I decided that instead of throwing up my hands because I missed the opportunity to highlight Giving Tuesday, I would urge you to give on a Wednesday or Friday or whatever day works for you and to consider giving at other times of the year as well!
I understand the reasoning behind Giving Tuesday and support the effort wholeheartedly. People are in the giving spirit at this time of year. Additionally, for charitable organizations aiding the poor, demand for assistance is particularly high at this time of year. For food pantries the months of November and December contain two big food holidays. Christmas means presents and many churches and neighborhood and civic organizations work to provide items for families in poverty to give to loved ones on Christmas morning. Finally, the cold weather necessitates added clothing, like winter coats, snow boots and hats and mittens, which are often well out of the monthly budget of families living near or below the poverty line.
While the main focus of this blog is food insecurity, I urge you to consider giving to any charity or cause you support. Making a donation to a charitable organization supported by someone on your Christmas list is a thoughtful gift for them. Coming together as a family to pool your money for a sizable donation to an agreed upon charity is also a great way to celebrate the season. If you are able to, spread your donation out over the year by making a regular a monthly donation, allowing your charitable organization to better budget over the year and prevent periods of limited resources. Finally, if you do not already, I urge you to consider making giving a regular part of your life, giving throughout the year and expanding your definition of giving. Many organizations in every community do wonderful work, but need volunteers just as much as donations to make their goals possible. Consider touching someone else’s life by giving of your time. I guarantee that you will receive a gift in return!
Here is a link to an article by Consumer Reports about ratings for charitable organizations if you are uncertain about giving to a particular organization.