Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tis the Season to Be Giving!

For the fourth year, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is celebrated as Giving Tuesday, a movement that focuses on philanthropy and giving, instead of celebrating holiday consumerism. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday encourages you to think about others in the community during this holiday season.

Whether it's the less fortunate, homeless animals, or dedicated nonprofits, consider giving goods, money or your time this season!

Image: Giving Tuesday

It's easy to participate in Giving Tuesday!

Give While You Shop

  • If you're still working on checking off your shopping list, and you're hitting up Amazon, the easiest way to donate is with Amazon Smile. You use your same Amazon account, shop the same products, and do everything exactly as you would normally. The difference is, when you visit Amazon Smile, you find and designate a charity or nonprofit. Anytime you make a purchase through the Smile portal, Amazon donates a portion of cost to your chosen organization. Right now, there are almost one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations.

    You can search for an organization by name or location. To make it easy for you, here is a list of local organizations who would appreciate any donations you make during the holiday season and throughout the year. I do wish you could also search by type of organization, to make it easier to find environmental nonprofits.

    And with today being Cyber Monday, I can only hope that many shoppers use Amazon Smile to do good while they order away!
  • Founded in 2006, TOMS started off making shoes with a one-for-one model, where they would donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every shoe sold. Since then, they've expanded to include eyewear, bags and coffee, which provide restored sight, safe births and safe water to people in need.
  • When you're shopping, look to see if the company does good work, from planting trees like PaperCulture or work in impoverished communities like Cotopaxi, or follows the buy-one-donate-one model like any of these 23 companies.

    The awesome part of shopping with companies like these is that you can find unique gifts for those on your shopping list at the same time you're helping the company pay it forward!
Image: BuzzFeed

Donate

Devote a little of your time tomorrow to make a donation to an organization you love. Whether you do it online, swing by to drop off a check, or do a little shopping to drop off physical items, you'll make an impact to your organization.

These are just a few ideas of long-running or local organizations, but there are literally thousands of organizations who would appreciate your donation.
  • New Orleans-based The Green Project
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore has moved to a new location in Lafayette, on Johnston Street near The Grand Theatre, and while they are not open for shopping on Tuesdays, they are open to accepting donations.
  • FoodNet of Acadiana helps feed the hungry all year long. This year, the annual KLFY Food for Families drive is happening next Tuesday, December 8. They accept canned goods, non-perishable food and other necessities like paper towels and toilet paper.
  • St. Joseph's Diner provides food for the homeless.
  • Operation Warm/Coats for Kids
  • Lafayette Central Park is working to build Lafayette's Horse Farm into an amazing park that families can enjoy for generations to come. 
  • When I wrote about Giving Tuesday last year, I shared a long list of environmental organizations that focus on things from clean water to bicycle advocacy to nature preservation. Check it out to see how you can help the environment this Giving Tuesday!

My Food for Families donation from last year.


Volunteer

Maybe you aren't able to actually get out and volunteer on a Tuesday, but you CAN make the resolve or commitment to volunteering at a future time. Nonprofits are always looking for volunteer assistance, and you can have fun while doing good! (Says the girl who actually enjoys cleaning up litter and painting park railings as a volunteer.)

Working with Keep Lafayette Beautiful to oversee a group of college students for this year's UL Big Event.

This holiday season, don't get so swept up in shopping and 'getting'...focus on 'giving' to your loved ones AND those in need!

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