“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
~ attributed to Winston Churchill
The establishment in 2012 of “Giving Tuesday” is the grassroots brainchild of the renowned 92nd Street Y in New York City. The premise of the day is that people give their time, service and money to help organizations that help others and is based on the concept of tikkun olam, a Hebrew expression which in English means, “repairing the world.”
What a wonderful accompaniment to Thanksgiving and antidote to Black Friday this day can be. If you can afford to make a monetary contribution of any amount to your favorite charity, do so today. If you can’t give money, try to give volunteer time to a local organization. In addition, or instead of if you cannot give funds or volunteer service, give a helping hand to someone close to home, at school, on campus or at work. Here are some ideas:
- Give a little time to help a classmate who needs tutoring in a subject or assistance in preparing for an exam.
- Give your parents a hand in tackling some household chores, run an errand for them and / or have dinner waiting for them when they return home from a long day.
- Give a teacher some extra time after class to help her finish a task or straighten up the classroom.
- Give someone an opportunity where they might not otherwise obtain it, whether it’s a chance to prove himself at a task, sport, theatrical role, etc.
- Give a break to someone on whom you’ve previously been tough.
- Give some time to an elderly or disabled family member. Just hanging out and talking or playing cards can give someone a lift!
- Give your old coats and jackets to a coat drive. It’s getting cold outside in some parts, and there are people who could use a gently used coat to keep warm.
- Give your boss a lift by surprising her with a cup of her favorite coffee or giving her a professional compliment.
- Give someone you see every day but tend to overlook a smile and greeting. Then keep it up.
- Give your roommate a break by taking on his chores for a day.
How many other ways can you give? Giving is an approach that not only improves the lives of others but benefits the givers as well. For example, many charitible donations are tax deductible (if you itemize on your tax return), and contributing your time and expertise to individuals and non-profit organizations can enhance your reputation. Beyond those benefits, giving of yourself and your resources to others can bolster your health and success and your generosity toward others can increase your happiness.
I think making the Tuesday after Thanksgiving the portal to the season of giving is a terrific idea and hope that you do, too. But, then let’s keep this spirit of giving well into 2014!
Until next time,