Did you know this is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’? I bet you did. Hectic as it’s been, we’ve already gotten through Thanksgiving and Chanukah. Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, (which is still in reruns), and Small Business Saturday are history. We’ve trolled parking lots at malls looking for a space, overspent (I’m guessing), maybe dropped some change into a Salvation Army bucket and went home to scratch some names off our list and figure out what to do next. Boy, we’re lucky. Just a few left. We’re into the countdown. Christmas, Kwanzaa and the New Year are coming up fast.
But there’s a new day to commemorate that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle – Giving Tuesday. It was December 3rd. It’s not actually an ‘official’ day yet – just a movement to create an official ‘day.’ I just learned about yesterday. It would be a designated day of giving to charitable activities that support non-profits. While it’s a little counterintuitive to me, to ask people to contribute after they’ve spent a bunch of money on the biggest sale days of the year, I applaud the concept, but honestly, we could and should be doing this throughout the year.
While it may be too late celebrate Giving Tuesday this year, it doesn’t take a bunch of cash to warm hearts and create once in a lifetime memories for those who need our help. As we know, cash isn’t the only way to add value – and we can do a little community building as well. Don’t do it yourself. Make your staff part of it too. Giving is a gift, so you’ll want to share!
While many have launched coat drives, run races and served in soup kitchens, here are some alternative ideas some friends have done to help others. Maybe it will give you some ideas:
- With the participation of her staff, the owner of a day spa organized a ‘total makeover’ day for women in a homeless shelter
- A business owner who was a part time musician, got his band members together and hosted a Christmas party for underprivileged children
- A local restaurant advertised it would donate half a day’s profits to feeding the hungry. (His sales soared that day and he helped feed a ton of people as well).
- A singer, and her pianist, performs seasonally at senior centers
- A business owner – and his staff – donate time year round to mentor start-up businesses
I wasn’t surprised to hear that the people I highlighted above reported that not only were they happy to have helped, but they gained customers. In addition, employees said they felt more connected to the company and it boosted morale.
Everything we do reflects our value; and I’ve always found that when you do good for others, good shines on you too. Giving Tuesday may come but once a year, but I’d like to shine year round.