Giving back on #GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday

Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks. #GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving back. Fueled by social media, #GivingTuesday (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States) is a reminder to share your time, talents, and resources to make the world a little better.

These are just a few ways to join the celebration of giving:

  1. Get inspired by GivingTuesdayHawaii on Twitter, this month and throughout the year. Learn about ways to help Hawaii nonprofits.
  1. Donate a new, unwrapped toy to Toys for Tots Hawaii, and help brighten a child’s Christmas. This coming year, let’s encourage children to set aside a birthday gift to donate to next year’s holiday toy drive.
  1. Adopt an angel at The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree in various malls and at Central Pacific Bank branches in Hawaii. Pick a tag and fulfill a wish from a child or senior.
  1. Read essays written by people like you who support meaningful nonprofit organizations on the MyGivingStory Facebook page.
  1. Join GoodWorld’s “Million Dollar Challenge” and be one of 1 million people who support their favorite nonprofit. GoodWorld is donating $1 for every $20 contributed with #donate and shared on social media, up to $1 million, through the end of 2015.

Here are three things I keep in mind to help me make good decisions about giving:

  1. Make a budget. I decide how much I can give, and try to spread it out over the year. By making “giving” a part of my budget, I ensure that I can pay my bills and I don’t feel pressured to give.
  2. Choose charities, schools, and nonprofits that you know. Choose causes you believe in and that have special meaning to you. I start with organizations that I have a personal relationship with – my college, my son’s school, my local humane society, a local relief organization, and my local library. I see the good they do and I want them to continue doing goo.
  3. Focus on a few good causes. There are so many worthwhile charities and nonprofit organizations doing good, but it can be overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to make unplanned donations that you can afford, but also don’t feel guilty about saying “no” to other charities.

To charities and nonprofits, I’d like to offer a suggestion about giving: ask us when we would like to reminded about giving (perhaps every February or Thanksgiving) and how we would like to be contacted (mail, email, or phone). We don’t need labels, cards, or notepads. A short thank you email is acknowledgement enough.

What will you do on #GivingTuesday? How do you choose the ways you give to your community?

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