Giving Tuesday—Giving Close to Home
By Lynn Blamires Content Writer for My Local Utah
The excitement is building for the Christmas Season. With that season comes the spirit of giving and just after Thanksgiving, we will celebrate the 9th annual Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is an effort to raise awareness of the needs of charitable programs at home and around the world during a time when so many seem more focused on spending for wishes and wants rather than the needs of others.
Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that had its beginning in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. It is now an independent nonprofit movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give.
It happens on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year it will be on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
Five Reasons to Share Your Blessings
Here are five reasons to share your blessings on this Giving Tuesday:
- Lots of organizations have donation matches on Giving Tuesday, so your gift goes even further. Knowing that your money can help extra people with no extra effort is a great feeling.
- For those who are difficult to buy for on your shopping list, a donation to their favorite charity could be just the ticket.
- Community Development work is one of the most sustainable things in which we can be involved. Community development is a fancy way to talk about poverty-busting projects that leave entire regions better than they started. We want to make sure the way we spend our money upholds the dignity of all people — how better to do this than to equip them with the tools to break out of extreme poverty?
- Giving Tuesday’s all about keeping those good Thanksgiving feelings of gratitude going, recognizing how much we have to be grateful for and sharing it with others. An easy way to do that is with automatic donation services that give a portion of your shopping to charity on a regular basis.
- Money is always welcomed by charities organized to better the lives of people who live in our community, but there are other ways to be involved in this effort. Give of your time. Connect with your local food bank and learn how your volunteer work can benefit your community.
Giving Close to Home
Often the best place to start giving is close to home. Many local organizations and churches put together charitable programs during the holiday season. Local businesses also help with special incentives, giveaways or running a sub-for-Santa for those in need. For example, Fowers Point-S Tire and Auto Service in Clearfield is helping with a Giving Tree that benefits local children in need (through OWCAP — more on them below). A local hair extension business, Harvey J Hair, is donating a percentage of sales to the Rapunzel Project and their efforts to help cancer patients. Local events like the Festival of Trees raise funds for Primary Children’s Hospital. You can find local opportunities to donate your time and/or money to help those in your own community.
Open Doors Utah
Organizations close to home are worthy of your donations and service. Open Doors Utah is one of these. Sometimes we get to a place in life where it’s hard to find our way out. We get discouraged and feel helpless when all we need is a little direction and a helping hand. Living in a difficult situation can also lead to dysfunctional relationships, domestic violence, and child abuse.
Open Doors is here to help by providing the resources needed to assist families in finding lasting solutions to poverty, attain self-reliance, and prevent abuse. They help others on their journey to be their best selves by inviting them to participate—to open the door for others who are carrying heavy loads. The Open Doors website is www.opendoorsutah.org and they have a food bank on Highway 193 at the top of Fairfield Road that serves Davis County. They have a need for volunteers and donations not only in food, but money
The Ogden Weber Community Action Program (OWCAP) has a mission to elevate individuals, families, and the communities of Weber County by improving self-sufficiency through services and collaboration.
They have been instrumental in Providing education and child care that have lifted people out of poverty to the point that they can now give back to their communities. They have a need for donations and volunteers. Their website is www.owcap.org.
www.JustServe.org is a website where the volunteer needs of organizations may be posted and volunteers may search for places to serve in the community, providing opportunities to help those in need and enhance the quality of life in the community. It is a service to help link community volunteer needs with volunteers and does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation in posting projects or in encouraging volunteers to serve according to our guidelines.
Those guidelines suggest that the best service opportunities are collaborative—working side by side with others in faith-based, nonprofit, community, and government organizations. They should enhance the quality of life in the community and assist the poor and needy. They should also not have a political or advocacy focus, be for-profit oriented, or directly involve volunteers in soliciting or handling money or other prohibited activities.
The list of volunteer opportunities is very interesting and includes hospice patient companionship, museum work, dog walking, animal care, reading and writing letters.
Visit the website; you will be surprised at how easy it is to find something to match your talents with volunteer needs. I found 35 opportunities within five miles of my home.
My Local Utah
My Local Utah is an organization that is about the community for the community. Their goal is to support the local business community and unite our neighborhoods with an online resource unlike anything ever created.
They are passionate about helping others and giving back to the community. They all live, work, and raise their families in our community.
They are committed to promoting the economic prosperity of locally owned businesses. They focus on building connections, collaborating, partnering with local leaders, and educating communities statewide on the value of buying locally. More information can be found at www.mylocalutah.com. Sign up and keep your finger on the heartbeat of your community. There is no charge and you will find the connections you make will be invaluable.
It All Begins with Us
There is much in the way of opportunity to donate time, money, and support for your local community. In addition, we can commit to be better neighbors. We can be more kind and put a smile on the face of a friend or even a stranger. It will make us better and it is the season to do our part to make a better world.