Though Black Friday didn’t used to mean much to Canadians – what with not having Thanksgiving in November and all – it has crept over the border in recent years. Big Canadian brands like HBC advertise Black Friday sales, and the American giants like Best Buy and Amazon do their fair share as well. With the advent of Cyber Monday, a day to enjoy the shopping frenzy of the season without having to put on pants, it’s clear that this is not something that is going away. Since the US often leads the world in so many aspects of pop culture, it will likely only grow. But another thing we’ve borrowed from the US is GivingTuesday.
Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, GivingTuesday is a day to give back. It can mean giving money, volunteering time, or being charitable in other ways. In their first year, GivingTuesday in the US had more than 2500 partners (from individuals, celebrities, charities, and businesses), online giving increased 50%, and Paypal mobile donations soared by 487%!
What I really like about GivingTuesday is that it is a reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in shopping and presents (and I do love presents), and so easy to forget about the world around us. It’s a very community-minded movement.
I’ve reflected a lot on how, and how much, I give lately, and I’ve realized that not only do I not have a particularly good plan, but I am not giving as much as I could be. So I picked two charities to give to on a monthly basis for now, and as I learn more about all the amazing options out there, I may change it up.
Even if you do lots already, it’s still a great movement to get involved in. It’s simple: On December 3rd, do something good for your community. Donate money, send a charity gift card, or volunteer your time. I have a plan, but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks to find out what it is! And be sure to let other people know what you’re doing and encourage them to get involved too. #GivingTuesdayCA. You can also get some tips on the GivingTuesday.ca website.
Here are some organizations I’m supporting this year:
- Covenant House Toronto: They provide shelter, education, and support services to homeless youth. Learn more at www.covenanthousetoronto.ca
- HALCO (HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario): They provide free legal services to people living with HIV & AIDS in Ontario. They are the only service of this kind in Canada. Learn more at www.HALCO.org
- Canadian Women’s Foundation: They found programs and research to end violence against women, move women out of poverty, and to improve girls’ self-esteem. Learn more at www.canadianwomen.org/
Disclaimer: This post contains my personal thoughts and feelings only. I am not representing my employer.