Giving back on Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving. It’s a reprieve and balance to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, which focus on shopping. Last year, over 700,000 people raised $116 million online in over 70 countries.

There are so many charities that are doing good works and so many worthwhile causes to support. It can be overwhelming. So I’d like to share 5 causes and nonprofits that I support and what makes them so meaningful to me.

* Reading. “Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them,” said author Neil Gaiman. I support my local library with gently-used books, so they can continue to add books to the library and sponsor community programs. Reading is important – to teach, to inspire, to share different points of view. I love to read, and I want to share my love of reading with others.

* Education. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” declared revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela. I support our public schools with money, goods, or my time. My son attends a public elementary school in Honolulu, and I want to show him that education is important. I also give back to my college every year, because college is important to career-readiness and lifelong learning.

* Human services. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world,” proclaimed diarist Anne Frank. I support my local American Red Cross because they help keep our communities resilient, offering disaster preparedness and assistance. I have taken a disaster readiness class and my son has participated in their free summer swimming lessons, and I appreciate what they do here in Hawaii and around the world.

* International aid. “As you get older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others,” said actress Audrey Hepburn. I strongly believe that we should help people help themselves, and micro-finance lets small donors make a big difference. I support Kiva.org because they help people borrow money to start or expand a business, go to school, or improve their lives (donors can lend as little as $25). I support Heifer International because they help farmers feed their families and communities, with gifts of basic needs, crop seeds, farm animals, community projects, and support for small businesses.

* Animal welfare. “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” stated activist and political leader Mahatma Gandhi. I support the Hawaiian Humane Society because animals need care. I give a little each year in memory of my cat Oscar, who taught me about responsibility (thinking about someone else first) and confidence (though I could never win our staring contests).

Which charities and nonprofits are you passionate about? Will you choose to give on Giving Tuesday?

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