This Tuesday, November 29, tens of millions of people will acknowledge and participate in Giving Tuesday. What is Giving Tuesday anyway, and what might you do about it?
Established in 2012 in New York, Giving Tuesday began as a reaction against the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encouraging a dedicated day of giving to charitable organizations. Ten years on, Giving Tuesday is celebrated in countless US communities and over 80 countries with a message that has broadened from donating money to encouraging community support in all ways.
Is Giving Tuesday an organized event in Los Alamos? Not really – not yet anyway. How can you participate in the spirit of Giving Tuesday? Any number of ways, including:
- Donate to a Local Nonprofit Organization. Our nonprofits do amazing work that make Los Alamos the wonderful place that it is. They address essential needs and enhance our physical and mental well-being, providing opportunities for education and enrichment. Many local nonprofits have ‘donate now’ buttons on their websites, and it takes only a few seconds to donate via credit card or check. Even small donations send a message that you appreciate the organization and its mission. Consider increasing the impact of your financial support by calling a friend and asking them to match your donation. If you need a reminder of some of the many nonprofits making an impact in our community, please see he Los Alamos Community Foundation’s list of active local nonprofits: https://www.losalamoscf.org/nonprofitlist.
- Donate Supplies or Goods. You might also consider donating items you already have, especially if you have extras. Many local nonprofits collect food, clothing, and supplies for infants or school- age children, especially during the holiday season. Requests for items are often made through local news outlets or you may have a request sitting in your mailbox or inbox. Consider honoring these requests by providing the needed items; but before you donate items, please be sure to confirm exactly what is needed and what the organization can accept. As one example, LACares is our local food bank (505-661-8015).
- Donate Your Time or Talent. Your time, talent, and energy is invaluable to many organizations, such as helping to raise funds for the needy, serving food, or distributing items for the holidays. Contact your favorite organization directly or search their website to see if they need volunteers. For example, Self Help is looking for bell-ringers through the holidays: https://selfhelpla.org/bells.
- Spread Kindness. Sometimes the little things we do can have the biggest impact. Everyone can give a generous smile or say hello or thank you in person or via call, text or email. Show care for your neighbors by checking in on those who are alone or may need help with errand. Lift spirits by providing a listening ear or a friendly voice to talk to.
Let’s make this Giving Tuesday a start, and let every day be one where we give something back to our community.
About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the Los Alamos Community Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating and supporting enduring philanthropy and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.