Most of you know the devastation my family went through almost 2 years ago with my Jemma. We were hit so suddenly with an illness that prevented my working and I was living at the children’s hospital for over a month. Without any means to make dinner, I purchased meals from the hospital. All the while, hospital bills were adding up and we were forced to deal with a loss of insurance. I thought it was like kicking someone when they are down… my little girl was on a ventilator in a PICU and I was trying to figure out how to pay bills. It was horrible.
That is until some very dear friends started up a fund to help my family and help it did. We received money from people we had never met but that cared enough about our situation to help us. My husband was able to pay for the gas to and from the hospital on a daily basis. I was able to eat in the hospital cafeteria. That act of kindness and giving made all the difference in our lives at that moment and something I will remember my whole life.
I have been asked to share this very special day with you. All thoughts and opinions are my own and something I am very happy to share with you. Compensation is received.
Tuesday, December 2nd is Giving Tuesday. What is that? It is a day for true giving. “Giving Tuesday’s goal is to boost humanity rather than the economy.” There are many ways you can participate in Giving Tuesday and it isn’t all about giving monetarily. I know, for us, that is just not possible right now. But, I do give back in more ways.
On Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, December 2nd, 2014), give time or money to a cause or person you care about. Buy a trailing customer’s morning coffee to warm and brighten her winter day. Rake your grandparents’ residual leaves before snow blankets their yard. Contribute cash to a non-profit that researches and increases awareness for a disease affecting a loved one.
I try to teach my children the importance of giving back to others everyday. I offer my time to my church, my family, and my friends. Recently, I have taken over the craft bazaar at my kids’ school. This is a time consuming volunteer position but it helps their private school function and be able to help those that can’t afford the tuition. I spent time with a friend at the book fair, helping her to get things organized and helping the customers that came through. Each year I offer my time to our church at the parish picnic and other times that I can. I have even present for my parents as they have dealt with a rough recovery for my dad’s surgery. I did it because I care for them. I did it because I wanted to. Giving back to others does not have to cost you a thing. It can be your time that you offer. I do give to my church each month to help with our growth and needs. It isn’t much but it helps. Every little bit helps.
I encourage you to give now though. Don’t think about how there are so many people that can do the job, who can donate. Yes, there are a good number of people who may, but will they? It is up to each of us to give our time, our money, and ourselves to each other. Don’t be part of the bystander effect where you stand by and don’t do anything because there are so many who can. Be the one that stands away from the crowd and gives yourself.
Tuesday is the day to do that. Make a point of doing something special to give back on Tuesday… and maybe every other day will be easier to do. If you feel inclined to help someone monetarily, you will find several individuals to choose from on GiveForward. Acts of true giving take place every day on GiveForward, but Giving Tuesday is a wonderful time to reflect on how both small and large gifts make great impacts.
Connect with GiveForward on Twitter. You can also follow the hashtags #GiveForward and #GivingTuesday.