It’s the most wonderful(-ly selfish) time of the year.
You just finished stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, not to mention that you had pumpkin pies out the wazoo. Post-Thanksgiving meal, you then ran to Best Buy to finally use your jiu-jitsu skills on the poor fool who jumped in front of you in line for that flat-screen. You spent 7 hours of your life and 50% of your paycheck buying things that you don’t need, nor do the family members you so well-meaningly bought them for.
Hey- I’m not judging- I did it all too. Well, not the jiu-jitsu part, but I did go shopping for hours on Black Friday. Then came Cyber Monday, where we browse Walmart.com for “huge deals and savings.” Like all of the uber expensive items at Walmart, the most inexpensive store in all of America, got marked down 75%.
But now comes Giving Tuesday. I talked to both my mom and my boyfriend, and neither of them knew that Giving Tuesday was a thing. Hence why I’m writing this for everyone else who hasn’t heard of it. Giving Tuesday, better known as #GivingTuesday because we’re a Twitter-friendly society, is just a day to give back. If you’re reading this, it means that you have internet and a computer. Or an iPad. Or a smartphone. So you can afford to give to someone in need.
Almost every charity will match or double your donation today, which is amazing. Giving $20 worth of food to kids who are so hungry every day actually gives $40 worth. If you have never given to charity, or rarely give to charity, or don’t know how to start giving to charity, today is the day. There are some incredible causes that you can give to.
There’s also a list of the top 100 charities in terms of their donation usage. Some charities give 100% to the cause, but some only spend 40% of your money on the cause, and spend the other 60% on advertising or paying a staff. The Give Spot list includes 100 charities that give the most to the cause- it ranges from 85% to 99%.
I donated to CARE today, and I also bought gifts for my family members. You’re confused as to how buying gifts for my family members is charity. Instead of buying my 94 year old grandmother or one of my stylish aunts something that they don’t need, I buy a gift through World Vision for someone in need. (It’s also tax deductible.)
Last year I bought a family some chickens, and I think also medical aid. This year, I bought $400 worth of medicine, $200 worth of clothes, and 2 chickens. But here’s the cool part: I didn’t spend $600+ dollars. I spent $100 exactly. The clothing and medicine gifts are gifts that are multiplied times EIGHT. Those $400 and $200 figures aren’t even considering that the donation was matched. $100 dollars, or about 12 hours of work for me, is providing more than $1,000 in gifts to people in need.
You can even pull a Mr. Warbucks and donate a $4,000 gift that also gets multiplied. They have gift options for all price ranges and budgets, and all passions. You can give a family a share of a bull, mosquito nets, a Bible, medicine, school supplies, clean water, and more.
If you’re passionate about everyone having medical care, give medical care. If you’re passionate about everyone having 3 meals a day, give them food. If you’re passionate about everyone having equal access to education, give them school supplies. If you’re passionate about finding a cure, give them HIV and AIDS prevention.
Here’s what it comes down to: we have plenty. We need nothing. But there are so many people less fortunate than us that are in need of basic things that we have excess of. Those people live in Bagladesh and in Moscow, but they also live in our backyard. Whatever you can afford to give, give. My bank account has never been lower, but my heart has never been more full.