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Typically, the holidays are a moment when many Americans volunteer to help the most vulnerable. Others make charitable contributions that can last throughout the holiday season. Next week, we will celebrate #GivingTuesday, a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good.
Started by the United Nations Foundation and the 92d Street Y, #GivingTuesday builds on the American tradition of giving back but uses technology to give this greater impact. This commemoration does not seek to coordinate funds toward any particular nonprofit or to direct volunteers to support a specific cause. Instead, #GivingTuesday is intended to encourage Americans to reflect and give back. It’s a collective moment for individual and community action.
#GivingTuesday has significant momentum. More than 7000 partners across all 50 states are taking part. This includes large corporations and small businesses, faith-based organizations and secular nonprofits. This year, cities are stepping forward to galvanize the movement. They are celebrating local causes through unique campaigns like BMoreGivesMore in Baltimore; #GivingTuesdayBucks in Bucks County, PA; and #GivingTuesdayPHL in Philadelphia. In all these communities, nonprofits, businesses and government are collaborating to raise awareness and drive funds for those in need.
#GivingTuesday provides a wonderful opportunity for a national conversation about the ability of all Americans to participate in positive action. Indeed, the American impulse to help our fellow neighbor transcends politics and exemplifies our national spirit. Whether it’s a family at the dinner table talking about giving to a local school organizing a blood drive to a large company organizing its employees to volunteer to an entire city rallying its residents to drive change – people everywhere can find their own ways to celebrate their common bond of community.
How will you celebrate #GivingTuesday?
Jonathan Greenblatt is Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Domestic Policy Council.