Today, #GivingTuesday celebrates its tenth year.
It was created in 2012 “as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good,” as stated by their web site.
Radical generosity? I like it.
Our culture is filled with many radical ideas, philosophies, lifestyles, and movements. But “radical generosity” is not one that you often hear about. #GivingTuesday co-founder and CEO, Asha Curran, believes that we need a “radical generosity revolution.”
Curran opines that our world has become “radically less generous.” If that is so, then it is fueled by attitudinal sins the Bible warns against. Greed. Covetousness. Selfishness. Materialism. And fleshly gratification.
#Giving Tuesday, however, is not just about giving away money. It calls upon each of us following Thanksgiving to not only be aware of and “count our blessings,” but find avenues through which we may bless the lives of others. In the past several days we’ve heard about and maybe participated in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. These days focus on getting good deals on stuff. Material goods. More possession, either for ourselves or others.
#GivingTuesday focuses on making a difference in our world, not by buying something, but by sharing with others around us. Of course, not all giving is about money. In Rotary International, which I support on #GivingTuesday, we often talk about the “Three T’s.” Time. Talent. And treasure.
On #GivingTuesday we’re challenged to think about how we might exercise our time, use our talents, and invest our monetary treasure in supporting causes we believe in. Helping others. And making a difference.
Here are 21 ideas modified from the #GivingTuesday web page.
♦Volunteer at a homeless shelter or other social services organization in your area.
♦Pay for coffee or a meal for a stranger in a restaurant.
♦Take food to a neighbor. Or someone sick. Or shut in.
♦Pick up trash in your neighborhood with a group of friends.
♦Paint rocks with kind messages of encouraging Bible verses and leave them all over town.
♦Leave quarters at a laundromat.
♦Give a service worker an extra generous tip.
♦Purchase groceries for the person in front of you.
♦Donate to the Rotary International Foundation.
♦Donate to Florida College and help a student receive a faith based education.
♦Donate to a charity that is meaningful to you and your family.
♦Use social media to encourage others to participate in #GivingTuesday.
♦Share this blog post to increase awareness about #GivingTuesday among your network of friends and business associates.
♦Buy a toy for a child for Christmas and donate to Toys for Tots.
♦Thank everyone you meet today who serves you in some way.
♦Find a Little Free Library in your community and drop off some books.
♦Write a letter to someone who’s made a difference in your life.
♦Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and catch up.
♦Publicly acknowledge the efforts of a co-worker who deserves more recognition.
♦Text 10 people and pay them a compliment.
♦Resolve to make the spirit of #GivingTuesday a lifestyle and not a one day event.
“Anyone can be a giver. Everyone has resources to share and make the world a better place—whether it’s through time, money, expertise, or your voice,” wrote Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
We would all do well to remember that philanthropy is not something reserved for the uber-wealthy, but it’s something all of us can engage in to the best of our ability.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Heb.13:17).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman