If you #lovelansing – or any community or charity – consider Giving Tuesday

Black Friday is looming. So is Cyber Monday. The retail industry has done a bang-up job of getting us to open our wallets post-Thanksgiving (and, more recently, ON Thanksgiving). Recently, Small Business Saturday has emerged as a way to promote spending in our own communities, via locally owned shops.

In 2012, Giving Tuesday was founded by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. It’s “celebrated” the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In just two years, Giving Tuesday has grown into a global movement that has engaged more than 10,000 organizations and raised millions of dollars for thousands of charities worldwide.

This year, greater Lansing is joining the movement on Dec. 2 with #LansingLovesGivingTuesday, a coordinated effort to promote giving in mid-Michigan. The name is a play on the #lovelansing hashtag that’s found all over Twitter and Facebook.

Nonprofits, businesses and media from across greater Lansing have joined forces to encourage people to add their favorite charitable cause to their holiday shopping list.
While I’m all in favor of giving 365 days a year, let’s face it – there are certain times of year we’re more engaged with giving than others. The holiday season is definitely one of those times. And on the heels of the overwhelming success of the social media-fueled ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it’s hard not to get excited about a coordinated effort to promote philanthropy; $115 million is nothing to sneeze at.

A handful of Lansing-area nonprofits got together this fall to create a tool kit for any organization or business to use to help promote giving in our community. We designed a localized Giving Tuesday logo, crafted some email templates to encourage donors and volunteers, and unveiled them at a community forum attended by more than two dozen organizations willing to give it a shot.

It’s important to note Giving Tuesday is not designed to take away from any nonprofit’s year-end giving campaign. We’re hoping it enhances it, engages new donors and helps spread the word about all the good that’s being done in our community by so many people in so many ways. Will we raise more than $5 million, the way Baltimore did last year? Probably not. But what we do hope to raise is a whole lot of awareness (and dollars), showing people all the ways they can lend a hand.

How can you participate? Give to your favorite local charity, wherever you live, and whatever the cause. Take an “Unselfie” and let the world know via social media why you think it’s important to give. Give money, give time, give good deeds. But do give.

That’s what makes a community.

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Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:09am
To all our "Helping Angels", With in a number of weeks you will start to think, and make holiday plans, for Thanksgiving and Christmas.....lots of fun and joy for so many....right? NO.......for many, many, sick disabled dying elderly seniors it will be the most depressing time of year. They will be alone, hungry,....and many tell me "just waiting for the Lord to come get me....for I am so depressed....I just want to die" ! This is what Helping Angels Charity deals with..... 52 weeks / 365 days / 12 months a year....."pretty tough". For many of you...you will be calling our office to see how you, and your family, can be in the many shelter/facilities in serving the poor. Quote: "its good for our kids to do this/see this........makes them aware"....... Oh Lord help me understand that........365 vs 1 or 2 days !!!! Sorry to be the one to hit you with reality....but it makes you feel good and complete doing this...a real "feel good activity"....sorry. But what happens in cold, January, and February...... hot days in the summer? Ooooops no one around but "Helping Angels Charity"....365 days...not just 2 to 3, or 3-4 days at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But all year long. So help us fill the 365 minus (-) 1,2,3 days.......that's 362 days the sick- dying don't see or get help from you. Please, please, hold your calls for we have so many 1,2,3 day volunteers, instead please go to http://www.helpingangelscharity.com/and make a very needed donation for us to get food, supplies, care, for , not only these holidays .....but the other 362 days of the year. We can't do this by ourselves....we need your donations. Thank you and God Bless you. "Helping Angels Charity"
Robin Miner-Swartz
Sun, 10/26/2014 - 6:44pm
Hi, Jim: You make an excellent point. Need knows no day, no season. I hope we are moving toward a time when the idea of giving -- time, money, resources -- is something we all do every day, in big and small ways. I know many people who already live this way, but clearly not enough. Until we get there, I like the idea of anything -- a day, a viral social media challenge -- that reminds people it's good to give. Thanks for taking the time to share a bit about your organization, and thank you for the work you do.