Tuesday, December 2, 2014

#GivingTuesday Is Today. What Is Your Plan?

Today is December 2nd.  This day has been designated by the United Nations Foundation as “Giving Tuesday.

The theme of many of the posts on this blog during December will be about gifts or giving in some way. I first saw this video in a post by Cathy Chester, a #Giving Tuesday Social Ambassador. I loved the concept and I knew right away I wanted to share it here today. 

I encourage you to either watch the video here, or pop over to Cathy's blog to watch it and read her two-part #GivingTuesday post. She used her blog post to create awareness about an organization that uses the healing power of horses for good, and one that rescues abused dogs.  

There are so very many ways we can all do good things, by giving a little of: 
  • our money
  • our time
  • our efforts
  • our influence
  • our love.

How am I giving today?

  • I am calling the American Red Cross this morning to make an appointment to give blood this week. (I will tell you more about this in a post later this month!)

  • I am taking two boxes of clothes which we no longer wear to donate to a local charity. (This is in addition to the full carload of items I took last week!)
  • I am putting together an exam-week care package for my daughter, who is away at college. (Oops, she reads my blog, so I may have just ruined the surprise! Hopefully she is too busy studying to read all my posts this week!)  
  • A committee I belong to is putting together a gift of baked goods. I am going to start to do some baking for that today. (This is a surprise, so I can't mention the name of the committee!)
  • Our family has a tradition of choosing a gift animal to purchase during the holiday season from Heifer International. We love the idea of being able to help another family. Picking which animal we will give is fun, and we have even named each one! 
Today, I am going to order the animal we have decided to purchase this year: a llama, which will go to a family in an area of higher altitude, such as Bolivia. 
When they were small, one of my children's very favorite books was "Is Your Mama a Llama?" written by Deborah Guarino and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. So, of course, we have named this llama "Mama." 

  • Nearly 70 years ago, Heifer International was founded on the philosophy “teach a man to fish ... .” Their mission is “to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.”  
  • Rather than just being a handout, each Heifer animal gift provides a family in need with food and reliable income, resulting in self-reliance and participation in improving their own communities. Each family who receives an animal agrees to give the first female offspring to another family in need. 
  • Animals not your thing? Heifer International also offers opportunities to help purchase items such as irrigation pumps or trees, to give the gift of clean water, to empower women, or send a girl to school.      
And last but not least:
  • Today, I am spreading the word about this  #GivingTuesday campaign. Every time someone participates in #GivingTuesday (or Giving Anyday!), our world is a better place ... one gift at a time.
The advice from the UN Foundation about #GivingTuesday is to “make it your own.” 

To be truthful, I probably would not accomplish all of these things today, if it were not for the motivation of #GivingTuesday.  I would do them all eventually, but this campaign has helped me to avoid procrastinating!

Oh, and about that llama. - -  When I sent a text to my daughter last night, to ask her if she thought buying a llama was a good idea this year, she responded that she had initially only seen half of my text. For a second she thought WE were getting the llama!  If the receiving family is even half as enthusiastic as she momentarily was, it will be a fantastic gift!

What will you give today? What will you give on the rest of the days of this year?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains an Amazon affiliate link, for which I may receive compensation if any purchases are made. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely my own.


  1. I really like the idea! Unfortunately I can't give blood but I will be giving my time at the Geography club today!
    Also I like the idea of an exchange....

    1. You are a great volunteer Ish - I know you devote many hours in many ways!

  2. I love this, there are so many ways to give. I've given blood, platelets and am on the National Marrow Register. I wrote a post about this years ago as a way to show positivity at times of national disasters (school shootings, Boston Marathon bombing) to our children.

  3. Great concept. I have been slapped with a life-long ban on giving blood, but am on the organ donor's register. Today is the third here, but yesterday I volunteered for a crisis line, posted some unexpected gifts, and poured over the CARE and OXFAM gift registries. I will purchase gifts from them both next week.

    1. Organ donation is an amazing gift. It sounds to me like you used Giving Tuesday- and many of your other days - well.

  4. I found out about Giving Tuesday via twitter last year. And since last year, my family and I decided to participate. Although, we extended our Giving Tuesday to last the entire last quarter of 2014, starting in October with support for the National Eczema Association. =0)

    What I love is all of this support and people coming together for one main idea - giving back. I love it!!!
    I've always been big on community service, and it's something that I've tried to teach my kids as well. I think it's absolutely wonderful that we can use social media for something so good, and make it great.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so glad to have read your GivingTuesday post!

    1. I think Giving Tuesday is a great example of all the good there is in the world. I was happy to do my small part - and I was impressed by all of your efforts, Kim!

  5. Well I was wanting to sign up to deliver Meals On Wheels but you have to be able to deliver at 11:30 and hubby doesn't get off until 2. We are going to do it the Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas though and the day before and after New Year's. I'm still trying to figure out something for the NICU babies. Some are not as lucky as ours who have people who care for them or love them. Some are born to drug addicted women and such. It is so sad some don't have anyone to visit or take care of them. So many different situations. I want to do so much but getting around is my problem. Hubby works so much and I can't drive anymore it is very frustrating.

    1. Don't sell yourself short, Rena. I know that you do a LOT of good!

  6. So funny about your daughter and the llama! I didn't know about giving Tuesday, and I missed it while on vacation, so maybe I will make next Tuesday my own! Thanks so much for sharing this.

    1. Lana, I think you could consider many of your days as qualifying as "Giving Days"! And, to tell the truth, just like my daughter, I would love getting a llama as much as giving one! But it would be hard to “kennel” when we go away!


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