After a weekend spent overindulging on food and shopping, it’s nice to have a day on the calendar that is specific to making a difference for others. Giving Tuesday is that day. It’s a “global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration…celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” says the Giving Tuesday website.
The day kicks off the charitable giving season where donors focus on holiday and end-of-year giving. The #GivingTuesday website helps to connect nonprofits with donors, offering up tools for NPOs and search engines for donors. It also gives ideas for individuals to help, beyond making a donation. A quick search of the Austin area yielded 479 results on the website, with options to support schools, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, universities, foundations, small businesses, and corporations. There’s also a field to search for specific organizations.
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#GivingTuesday is still going strong, and tonight we’re sharing a seriously inspiring story from @austinangelsnonprofit. Their Love Box Program is changing lives – read on! ❤️ // "Once I aged out of care (like so many who age out of the foster care system) I felt scared, nervous and all alone. The odds were stacked against me. Statistics say I should have been pregnant by 19. I beat the statistics but found out at the age of 20 – that I too was pregnant. I felt scared when I found out the news because here I was with no college education, no permanent living situation, I didn't have a job and had no clue how I was going to raise this precious baby that was coming into this world when I could barely take care of myself. ⠀ ⠀ Then Austin Angels stepped in and immediately I was no longer alone. My good friend introduced me to Susan and thanks to her and Austin Angels my life is completely changed. They gave me love, support and encouragement. Not only did Austin Angels throw me an amazing baby shower and completely set me up as a new mommy – they rallied around me when my daughter Isabella was born. They paid for my car insurance, helped me land an incredible job where I was making more money than I had ever made, they even took me shopping for a work wardrobe and paid for a haircut and highlight. I felt like a new woman. Suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore. I now have large network of friends and mentors who I can reach out to for advice, love and support. The day Susan brought Austin Angels into my life is the day that forever changed mine. ⠀ ⠀ I can’t help but think about what would have been different if I had been a part of the Love Box program while I was a foster child. Would I have made the right decisions as a young adult and not been homeless? Pursued college? As much as I wonder about it, I will never know the answers to those questions, but what I do know and see every day is the impact they are currently making in the lives of foster children around this city. Susan’s love box program was one of the best things to ever happen in mine and my daughter’s lives and I don’t know where we would be without her." – Carli Cearley, AA Client
Unfortunately, the Giving Tuesday site doesn’t dive too deep with info, so if you want to search, say, Austin animal organizations — check out the Amplify Austin search engine from Central Texas-based I Live Here I Give Here. It’s an excellent, comprehensive resource for finding area nonprofits, if you don’t already have one.
Sharing and hash tagging your social posts will hopefully help encourage others to make a difference (and feel free to share this post everywhere so they know what the day is all about).
Here are just a few fun facts to encourage you to make a donation this #GivingTuesday:
- Last year, Giving Tuesday raised $300+ million in over 50 countries (Giving Tuesday).
- I Live Here I Give Here is home to another great day of giving — Amplify Austin Day. It happens next year from February 28 -March 1, 2018. This 24-hour fundraiser is a fun way for Austin charities to raise money, compete for prizes, and possibly gain extra support from sponsors.
- Your donations are tax deductible. So doing some serious good can also end up giving you a few perks along the way.
- Not looking to make a monetary donation? This is also the perfect time of the year to help out families in need for the holidays. You can also start up a new volunteer habit, which is always a great way to bond with family and friends or a great opportunity to meet new people.
Featured photo from Pixabay, Creative Commons licensed.