In Armenia, a health workers distributes UMCOR relief kits. What will you give this season?
By Klay S. Williams*
November 8, 2012—As retailers dive into their strategies to increase holiday sales, another movement is preparing to help us exercise a different form of bargain shopping—#GivingTuesday.
No, I am not referring to another day of material shopping, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but an undertaking that will help us reconsider how we as a world approach the holiday season.
#GivingTuesday, celebrated for the first time this November 27, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day, is focused on reaching individuals and organizations alike and encouraging them to “join in acts of giving,” says the official website.
The founding partners of #GivingTuesday, including the 92Y of New York City, The United Nations Foundation, Skype, among other associations and companies, are asking us to transform the typical holiday shopping season into a giving season. It’s about giving back, doing good, and sharing with others why that’s important to you.
One of the endorsers of #GivingTuesday is InterAction, the largest alliance of US-based nongovernmental organizations, with 190 member groups, including the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). InterAction has teamed up with The Huffington Post to share stories from its partners about how even a small gift makes a big difference in the lives of people in need.
UMCOR’s contribution to the series, “An Effective Fix for a Devastating Disease,” posted on November 6. It is about the cascading effects of malaria in the lives of families in Africa, and how The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria initiative is making a difference.
How can you give?
The creative notion about #GivingTuesday is that this national day does not focus on one primary method of intention or deliverables of how one should give. The intention is that you will open your heart to the spirit of this season and figure out ways in your community and in your world to give toward making things better.
Is it volunteering at your local prison? Is it providing monetary assistance to a struggling family? There are no rules or regulations when it comes to the spiritual act of giving, except one—give freely of yourself without expectation of receiving anything in return.
Shall we take the boldness of #GivingTuesday a step further?
If you’re searching for a way to give this holiday season in an innovative and creative manner, ask yourself the following questions: What kind of giving will take me out of my comfort zone? In what radical methods of giving can I involve my family, church, and community? How will I take the generous message of #GivingTuesday and incorporate it into my daily life.
Visit www.givingtuesday.org for more information and creative methods on how you can give this holiday season. Consider a gift to Hurricanes 2012, Advance #3021787, in support of Hurricane Sandy survivors in the US Northeast and the Caribbean, or peruse the Rethink Church UMCOR Gift Catalog for additional ideas.
*Klay S. Williams is a writer and contributor to UMCOR.org.