Was the holiday season always so hectic? I’m sure many of us remember when Black Friday didn’t even exist, although it might have been a few decades ago. Now, we’re even familiar with Small Business Saturday, and some of you might even know about Giving Tuesday. For those of you who don’t know about it, Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday that comes after Thanksgiving, after Black Friday and after Small Business Saturday. It is a day designed for us to take some action for someone else and give back to the greater good. We’re always trying to help, but sometimes we need help with the how.
My family would be considered middle, or even upper-middle class, so we were always used to having plenty of clothes to wear. As my brother and I tried to donate many of our old clothes to a charity, we had some issues with the approaches that certain non-profits were taking. Large executive salaries, questionable budgets, an overall lack of transparency and a weak personal connection with the community drew us away from many of the bigger name charities. Who knew that it would be so hard to give something away for free and feel good about it?
While we ended up collecting bags of clothes, gathering a group of a dozen friends, taking them all onto the New York City Subway on one of the coldest winter days I can remember, and physically handing them to homeless individuals throughout the Bronx and Manhattan, we realize that opportunity may not be available to everyone. Whether it is a lack of extra clothes, the fact that you live far away from a city, or some other reason, it can sometimes seem challenging to find a good cause. Fortunately, there are actually people and organizations, everywhere, that are in need or your help.
Here are some of our reasons why we like to give and how we go about doing it. Some are very time-consuming and others are extremely easy, but all of them are rewarding. Feel free to add any of your suggestions in the comment section below; we’d love to hear about causes that are near and dear to your hearts.