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Giving Tuesday: For The Whole Family

With the year’s biggest shopping holiday right around the corner, we want to take a step back today and talk about something other than buying. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge days for businesses across America; from the biggest retailers to the smallest independent creators. But on Tuesday, it’s time to give back.

We call it Giving Tuesday. It’s like an affront to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since 2012, the Giving Tuesday organization has helped facilitate global generosity efforts. They organize giving efforts, not just on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but all year long. And they aggregate information about a number of other charitable programs.

Why Giving Matters

It’s about more than just doing good! In fact, studies have shown that being generous is both physically and mentally healthy. And as the year winds down, it’s the perfect time to consider giving to a charitable cause.

It’s important to understand that ‘giving’ doesn’t have to mean opening your wallet either. While it’s often the easiest for us to donate money to a cause we care about, if giving money isn’t an option for you, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities!

Giving is good for you, good for the people you give to, and easy to do! So all you need is some inspiration, right? 

We’ve got you covered.

Educational Giving

These groups support educational initiatives in America. Each one has a unique mission as it pertains to improving or expanding education. These are just three of our favorite national groups you could give to. 

You can also find a local charity (learn more at the end of this article) to donate to. Or better yet, maybe you could volunteer to teach an after school or weekend program? Giving locally is always a good idea, but if you are just looking for a great way to help organizations promoting more and better education, these national groups are a great choice.

Teach For America

Teach For America is a diverse group of educators, confronting the inequality in modern education. They strive to create a more holistic, inclusive, and complete education for students and families.

Teach for America Logo

ProLiteracy

ProLiteracy is a great organization promoting literacy for adults. They work with schools and libraries to help connect readers with adults seeking help learning to read.

ProLiteracy Logo

Scholarship America

Help students learn and achieve more by supporting Scholarship America! This organization aims to bring scholarship funding to the neediest students so that everyone can strive for educational excellence.

Scholarship America

Everyday Giving

Let’s talk about charities and organizations that help with everyday needs.

Because it’s easy to get focused on just education and kids when it comes to giving back. But there are lots of different needs to be met; from ensuring plentiful and healthy food to making sure every dog and cat has a happy home. 

These are a couple of our top picks for giving back to the greater community we all share:

World Central Kitchen

Help students learn and achieve more by supporting Scholarship America! This organization aims to bring scholarship funding to the neediest students so that everyone can strive for educational excellence.

World Central Kitchen

American Humane

Help the pets across America find a better home and live a better life when you support American Humane.

American Humane Society Logo

Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign has spent more than 40 years working to help marginalized people. You can show your support for the work they do and find ways to get involved on their website!

Human Rights Campaign Logo

Literary Giving

This one is near and dear to me. From supporting homemade libraries to bringing books to kids around the world, supporting literacy is one of the most important ways you can give. 

It’s also one of the easiest. Just give people books! Seriously, it’s that easy. If you read something and loved it, share it! 

That said, I know we can’t always give away all of our books. So here are a few awesome ways you can help support literacy, in your community and globally:

Children’s Literacy Initiative

Working to further literacy efforts for children, the Children’s Literacy Initiative is a trusted way to support kids learning.

Childrens Literacy Initiative

Libraries Without Borders

Libraries are vital to all communities as a gathering place, free space, and hub for information. Show your support by helping Libraries Without Borders bring libraries to all corners of the world.

Libraries Without Borders

Little Free Library

Little Free Library is a grassroots organization helping us all share books through small community book drops. Show your support or get on board and create a community library yourself!

Little Free Library

Book Harvest

Book Harvest supports a variety of community literacy efforts for kids and adults. They’re a terrific way to find something you can do to support reading, writing, and learning.

Book Harvest Logo

Teaching Kids How To Give Back

Giving Tuesday and all kinds of other charity initiatives present a terrific opportunity to help kids learn about the value of giving. It is vital that we help kids learn how important (and rewarding!) helping others can be. Now more than ever.

And rather than reinvent the wheel, we’ve got a list of volunteer ideas and opportunities specifically geared toward kids from We Are Teachers:

We Are Teachers

15 ways kids can give back! This list includes a ton of fun ways kids can volunteer and give back while broadening their own horizons. If you’re looking for a way to ease your own kids into volunteering, this resource is a must!

We are Teachers Blog Graphic

Charity Navigator

If you have the giving spirit but you’re not sure how to apply it, aggregators like Charity Navigator is a great resource.

Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator Logo

You can find a variety of organizations to give to or volunteer with. And Charity Navigator features great filtering for their database, so you can find local, national, or global charities!

Giving Back This Year

It doesn’t have to be the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It doesn’t even have to be a Tuesday! Just take a moment before the year ends to think about what really matters to you. It could be literacy or hunger. Or it might be music or exercise. 

Giving can be both a learning opportunity for kids and a great way to bring the whole family together. 

One amazing resource is this empathy-building lesson plan from tolerance.org. It’s geared toward kids, but the lessons apply to anyone and everyone. 

Building Empathy Lesson Plan

Developing Empathy Curriculum

Find that thing that you care about and that is important for all of us and find out how to support it. You’ll be glad you did.

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