Giving Tuesday

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Today is Giving Tuesday. The idea is that after spending our money on stuff on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, we take a day to give back.

I recently read the book The Power of Half by Kevin and Hannah Salwen. It really changed my thinking on charitable giving. The book describes one family’s choice to sell their “show place” Atlanta home and move to one that was half the size. They chose to donate half of the proceeds of the sale of their large house (approximately $800,000) to fighting hunger in Africa. The book’s authors (Kevin Salwen and his then 15 year old daughter, Hannah) write about their experience in a way that is not at all preachy or “holier than thou”. While they suggest that everyone try to give half, they by no means expect others to sell their homes. Instead, the authors suggest that everyone can give up half of the money they spend on coffee, or watch half the amount of TV or video games.

Everyone, no matter what our situation can give something of either their time, talent or treasure.

Some of the organizations that I support include WEF (Wisburn Education Fund – my children’s school district), Khan Academy and the Boy Scouts of America (Greater Los Angeles Area). I also love 4Ocean, an organization that sells bracelets to support cleaning our oceans.

A very easy way to give to your favorite orgaization is Amazon Smile.  Just start your shopping at smile.amazon.com and select your favorite organization.  Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to that organization. My purchases in the last year have created donations of close to $100, every little bit counts!

These are just some of the organizations and ways that I have chosen. But there are countless more opportunities to give and/or serve. Giving doesn’t need to be in the form of a monetary donation. Some of the other ways you can give is to volunteer at a soup kitchen, such as Shared Bread or for meals on wheels, or even volunteer with an animal rescue (such as Noah’s Bark).

So today, why don’t you take a break from holiday shopping and take a moment to give to those in need!