More than 2100 groups have announced plans to participate in "Giving Tuesday" today, 11/27. They're hoping it will be the start of a new holiday tradition: that of giving during the "season of giving."
The founding partners for the effort are as varied as the 92nd Street Y in New York, Microsoft, the Huffington Post, and the Iran & Iraq War Veterans of America - just to name a few.
If you visit the Web site, be patient. Looks like they're getting a lot of traffic so the server is a bit overloaded.
Does your best friend really need another knick-knack? Or does anyone in your office really want a reprise of last year's dreadful "Dirty Santa" gift exchange? Giving Tuesday offers a meaningful alternative.
According to a phone survey by Harris Interactive and World Vision, 83 percent of Americans say they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else instead of a traditional gift like clothing or electronics.
The idea for the campaign sprung from Henry Timms, deputy executive director of the Jewish community center 92nd Street Y, and Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation. Timms began thinking about the concept during the holidays last year, and the idea gained momentum this past spring.
"When 92Y's Henry Timms called he explained the opportunity this way, 'We have a day for giving thanks, two days for getting deals. Why shouldn't there be a day for giving back?'" Calvin said.
The Giving Tuesday coalition is encouraging everyone to give both money and time to the non-profit of their choice. Some groups have even lined up donors who will match contributions today only.
Daddycat & I plan to participate with a donation to a local charity - GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services - and a national one - Heifer International. Both groups provide help and support for vulnerable populations. They do more than give a hand out: they offer a hand up.
Are you planning any sorts of "meaningful" gifts this season? Please share your ideas and suggestions!