During a time of year that is traditionally celebrated by out of control spending and showering your loved ones with expensive gifts, there’s a new holiday in town to raise awareness for the other important element of the holiday season – giving.
#GivingTuesday was established five years ago, to be celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving weekend’s major shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The day is designed to kick off the charitable season of giving by making a difference in your hometown, state, country or world. Thanks to social media, the options are endless. The #GivingTuesday hashtag gives legs to the campaign and allows ideas to spread online, inspiring others to participate.
So, how can you get involved today? Whether it’s focusing your charitable efforts in the 518 or helping out a national cause, we’ve gone Two Buttons Deep with a list of 10 great ways to celebrate Giving Tuesday.
1. Attend the Dancing in the Woods Gala
Where: The Armory at Sage College, 130 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208
When: Friday, December 2 at 7PM
Charity Organization: This event, in its 33rd year, benefits the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer & Blood Disorders at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center
More info: Click here
2. Sign up for the 2016 Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis (5K)
Where: Halfmoon Town Park, 162 NY-236, Halfmoon, NY 12065
When: Saturday, Dec 3, 2016 from 8:30AM to 12:00PM
Charity Organization: The Arthritis Foundation
More info: Click here
3. Donate or Volunteer at a Regional Food Bank
The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York accepts donations all year long to alleviate hunger and prevent food waste in rural and suburban communities. They service our own local area and also donate out to 23 countries, providing over 30 million pounds of food a year to 1,000 different places. To donate online and learn more, visit here.
4. Participate in the New York Cares Coat Drive
Today on Giving Tuesday, you can text the word COAT to 41444 or click here, and all donations are doubled by Bank of America. This organization works to provide New Yorkers with warm winter clothing through monetary donations and accepting coats through their coat drive (you can even start your own collection point in your area).
5. Organize a Group Volunteer Outing at the Ronald McDonald House in Albany
We’re lucky to have our own Ronald McDonald House here in the 518, an organization that helps families with children who are undergoing medical treatments. They work to provide support from meals to shelter, to company and comfort, during difficult times. If you want to help, you can organize a group outing to volunteer there and really make a difference.
6. Shop with Twill
For every product this local charity organization sells, another item is given to someone in need. The signature blanket is meant to provide a cozy companion to individuals in hospitals who appreciate the kindness and community support. Learn more about Twill’s history and the Blanket Buddies program which partners with hospitals all throughout the Northeast.
7. Attend Lucas Confectionery’s Drink and Donate Event
Where: Lucas Confectionery, 12 Second Street, Troy
When: Monday, December 12 from 5-1oPM
Charity Organization: The Albany Department of Social Services Children Waiting For Adoption
More info: Click here
8. Donate to United Way of the Greater Capital Region
United Way is a worldwide nonprofit organization that tries to improve the general quality of life for the people it serves. They’ve helped over 50,000,000 people in trying to achieve better academic outcomes in children, reducing teenage pregnancy, putting an end to human trafficking and more. You can help out locally by visiting the Capital Region chapter’s website to see just how far your donation can go.
9. Fill out a Make-A-Wish Star at Crossgates Mall
We all know Make-A-Wish and the amazing stories the organization gets to tell through its charitable efforts. It’s a simple and feel-good gesture you can be a part of by filling out a star at your local mall or shopping center. Head to Crossgates from November 17 to December 30 to make a contribution to help children with life-threatening medical conditions have an experience of a lifetime.
10. Get Involved with Equinox Human Services
Equinox helps children, adults and elders in the Capital Region who deal with domestic abuse, mental illness, homelessness and chemical dependency. From treatment and services to support and advocacy, they work within local communities to service over 5,000 individuals in need per year. You can give or volunteer by learning more here.
Of course, there are infinite ways to give this time of year and we’re just getting you started here with ideas from the 2BD team. The holidays are about acting a little more kind and patient, thinking about what you’re thankful for, and helping wherever you can. Every little thing counts even if it’s paying for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru line (one of my personal favorite random acts of kindness).
If you’ve given before, whether it was your time, your money, or your talents, there ain’t no doubt about it that it just feels good. So think about what you might do to help this holiday season. Even take it a step further and tweet @TwoButtonsDeep and let us know about all the goodness!