Giving Tuesday, begun in 2012, was created by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, with the intent to create a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving, an antidote to the consumer culture. Each year since, the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving has been designated Giving Tuesday. Though information for the first year is incomplete, $10.1 million was collected through Blackbaud, a leading software company powering social good.
In my FaceBook memories this week, I found a post from 2017 where I had just heard on the news that the amount spent on gifts between Thanksgiving and Christmas was expected to be 682 billion (“with a B”) dollars. By comparison, the amount collected for Giving Tuesday in 2017 turned out to be $274 million (with an M”) dollars. The reality is that Giving Tuesday has grown each year. Since its inception nearly 2 billion dollars has been raised for various nonprofits.
The comment made on the news report I had heard in 2017 was that the spending “would be good for the economy.” I pondered when the economy became the god we all worshiped. I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about how the economy works. While theoretically a good economy is good for everyone, with employers more willing to hire, some people clearly benefit much more than others. If the worker pool is plentiful, employers don’t necessarily feel any need to raise pay or benefits.
In the best case, when we look back on this season of Covid 19, perhaps we will recognize we have come to develop a greater appreciation for enjoying simple pleasures and doing with less. The opposite effect could occur as well: having felt “deprived” we might become all the more greedy “to make up for lost time.” May we endeavor to work toward the former and eschew the latter.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: When I reposted my FB memory from 2017, I stated that my intention is to make every Tuesday a Giving Tuesday between December 1, 2020 and December 1,2021. I am considering how I will live out this intention. Perhaps you may choose to honor it in some special way yourself. Reminder: Giving Tuesday will be celebrated this year on December 1.
4 thoughts on “Giving Tuesday”
Thank you again for a wonderful and thoughtful post. I have come to know the joy of generous giving as well. Your point about the economy being a “god” is well taken. Becky, (my intelligent wife) has often said the same thing. It goes with her statement that “anything that is above questioning is a god.” I think Americans’ belief in the value, virtue, and righteousness of the freemarket economy has become even more pronounced in this time of pandemic with the “we have to open the economy” message. This was no better illustrated than by the Leieutenant Governor of Texaas, Dan Patrick, earler in the year arguing that “we may have to sacrifice the oder people to get the economy going.” Wow, I thought that we only sacrificed female virgins to appease the gods… I guess grandma will do.
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It will be interesting to watch the recovery from the COVID era when it finally comes. I wish now I had heard from my parents and grandparents about the 1918 flu, but I don’t recall that they ever mentioned it.
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My father talked about losing two toddler sisters in that epidemic but I think that he likely remembers his siblings or parents talking about that because he was born in 1917. His two surviving sisters, who would have been 8 and 10 in 1918 were so delightful. Once about a year or ago I said to somebody that my father had lost 2 sisters in the epidemic and all of a sudden it hit me that I lost two aunts in the process…..and I might have had two more delightful aunts! My father came from a sweet family although he had one brother who always seemed negative and was married to one of the most negative people I’ve met. He had a sweet daughter who died as a young woman of cancer and two younger children who no longer even speak to each other…..families are such interesting creatures…….
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WITHOUT GIVING LIFE BECOMES MEANINGLESS… God started it by giving us life, man is godlike and must continue to give in order to remain relevant to God and humanity. So come Tuesday 1st December, 2020 let us give to others in love and more to others in need.
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