Today is “GivingTuesday,” an annual event created in 2012, which takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
If you’re unfamiliar with GivingTuesday, it’s an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is simply “to build a more just and generous world.”
Their website provides more information.
“GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe.”
“GivingTuesday’s global network collaborates year-round to inspire generosity around the world, with a common mission to build a world where generosity is part of everyday life.”
“In an era of global crisis and disconnection, we need new rituals to connect us. As the world’s largest giving movement, we believe we can go further, faster when we unleash generosity together.”
We have both written about and participated in GivingTuesday in past years and encourage our readers to do the same. In a post three years ago, we offered 10 Guidelines For Giving, which I’d suggest you read.
Giving is good. Giving is God’s nature. And it ought to be a high priority for every Christian. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Often, when we hear the word “giving” we think only of money, but there are many ways to give. Here are just a few ideas.
◆Engage in a random act of kindness for a total stranger.
◆Do something nice for a friend or neighbor.
◆Express your appreciation to first responders, healthcare workers, and other service providers whose services we rely on.
◆Volunteer to participate in a community project.
◆Visit or call an elderly shut-in who you can encourage.
◆Call your preacher or one of your pastors and volunteer to participate in a project or program at your church.
◆Write thank-you notes to people who’ve made a difference in your life.
◆Smile at everyone you meet today and offer a cheery greeting.
◆Bake some cookies and give them to your neighbor kids.
◆Promote GivingTuesday on social media by sharing this blog post.
Of course, there are many non-profits, charities, churches, colleges, and worthy organizations doing good who need and deserve our financial support. Take a serious look at your discretionary income and give something. Even if it’s just a little bit. Remember the widow’s mite?
We often think monetary giving is something reserved for wealthy individuals. But many people giving a little adds up to a lot. Dr. Lissa Rankin, in her blog post, “How To Change the World With $100” relates a neat story of how $100 could make a big difference. It reminded me of something I’d heard in a Rotary conference several years ago of what a $100 donation to the Rotary Foundation could accomplish.
WHAT WILL $100 DO?
•Provide three cataract surgeries in India
•Buy 15 packets of teaching materials for a school in Costa Rica
•Feed a family in India or Pakistan for six months
•Bring clean water to 600 school kids in Africa
•Supply textbooks for one elementary school in Zambia
•Purchase a hearing aid for a child in Pakistan
•Feed a child in Nicaragua for a month
•Immunize 150 children in Chad with oral polio vaccine
•Pay the tuition and books for 1 year of school for 2 children in Kenya
•Buy and distribute 25 Bibles in remote parts of the world
While inflation may have increased the cost of those services a bit, the point is still valid. Small donations can dramatically change someone’s life.
On this #GivingTuesday, find your sweet spot. Look for a way you can give. Seek and seize this opportunity to “do good to all people” (Gal. 6:10). And cheerfully fulfill the Biblical exhortation to “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Tim. 6:18).
Anne Frank was right, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” And Dr. Ben Carson reminds us that “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”
Finally to paraphrase John D. Rockefeller, “Think of [GivingTuesday] not as a duty but as a privilege.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman