It is holiday time, the time of higher than normal materialism in the US. Generally, this involves buying more stuff they do not need, going into debt, spending money on material goods to impress others, posting images of “stuff” on social network, and living beyond their means. Well, several years ago another “holiday” was created which does not focus on materialism, and that holiday is Giving Tuesday. This year the event is celebrated today, December 3, 2019.
Giving does not just mean donating money. There are many ways to give back to society, help charities, support the less fortunate, or to make a difference in this world…no matter how small it is. And there are a number of benefits to giving back. As we have noted, most (if not all studies) show that spending money on yourself does not lead to happiness – on the other hand giving to others does tend to increase happiness. And giving Day of 2019 is as good a time as any to start giving back.
How to participate in Giving Day of 2019
There are many ways to give back, and some examples are noted below. However, we know it is just one day in 2019. Really, if you can’t participate this year in Giving Day of 2019, anyone can understand that. In fact, giving back for one day is more of a “gimmick”/PR event.
Instead the real test is implementing this into your lifestyle…like really anything in life such as exercise, eating healthy, discipline, hobbies, etc. Do not think of December 3, 2019 as being the one and only time per year to give back, rather think of it as a lifestyle. However, like much in life it is easier said than done, but you need to start sometime.
As noted, there are many ways to give back. We have written about a few different ways.
- Give back and empower people through donating to small business, entrepreneurs and others through Kiva.
- Give time to disadvantaged children through organizations such as Big Brother or Big Sister.
- Donate cash or even your pocket change to the Salvation Army Red Kettle.
- Volunteer at dog shelters, non-profits such as SCORE to help small businesses, community clinics, food pantries, the Salvation Army, thrift stores, or countless other places.
- Advocate for positive change using tools such as change.org
- Donate gently used (or new) items such as clothes, furniture, books, electronics, shoes, coats, and many other items that disadvantaged families need. Just drop them off at a local thrift store.
- Drive for Meals on Wheels for the home-bound.
- Give a couple bucks to a non-profit from all the ways to donate out there, such as Operation Round Up of utility bills, donations when checking out of grocery stores, etc.
- Be generous in tipping and always give some type of tip no matter what. It can be just as rewarding, if not more so, giving someone who gave great service and who may come across as being a hard working student or senior or parents, as generous tip can be just if not more meaningful that giving money to a charity.
- Give back to other causes, such as environmental, cancer, Meals on Wheels, churches, political, and so many other causes.
- Find many other ways to volunteer on this day or day round.
Note that obviously many of the ways to give back to the less fortunate or the community at large requires time and or money. We understand maybe some (many people) just can’t come up with funds to make a financial donation to a charity. And some people may claim they have zero time to volunteer (though we find this hard to believe when considering how much time people waste watching TV, YouTube, social media, etc.). Regardless, if you truly can’t give time or money, then just be kind to others. As giving Tuesday 2019 also involves kindness, which can be something as simple as holding a door open for someone, the cliche of “helping an older person cross the street”, or many other simple acts.
Of course, while Tuesday December 3, 2019 is the “official” giving Tuesday day, the day itself is really a PR type event or gimmick – just like really every day on the calendar is now is really “National Day of Something”. The key is to give back some or most of the other 364 days of the year. While it may not make you happy to give back (as that is a complicated issue), the fact is that study after study shows giving back, being generous, working to make a difference will increase happiness levels.