#GivingTuesday is more than a hashtag

Megan Walker, Opinions Editor 

People all across the country celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday. They feasted on turkey and took to social media to share what they were thankful for with the world.opinions-giving_tuesday_logostacked1-2

Thanksgiving is the one day every year specifically celebrating contentedness and being grateful for what one already has. However, thankfulness should not end when the leftover stuffing and and cranberry sauce runs out.

It is easy to fall out of the thankful spirit when Thanksgiving comes to a close and the busy holiday season begins.

Thursday’s thankfulness is replaced by lists of things to buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The holiday’s focus on contentedness disappears almost as quickly as the pumpkin pie does.

The 92nd Street Y, a culture center in New York, is attempting to change that.

In 2012 they partnered with the United Nations to create #GivingTuesday, a movement that supports giving and philanthropy in the wake of the shopping days that follow Thanksgiving.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving each year, #GivingTuesday kicks off the year-end season of charitable giving.

#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities. It provides a platform for people to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges and amplify small acts of kindness.

What started as an attempt to spur giving grew into a global movement that has engaged over 30,000 worldwide.

In 2015 alone, #GivingTuesday has raised $116.7 million and impacted 71 countries through local and international campaigns by connecting people and organizations with outlets based on what they could give.

A few influencers with a hashtag were able to do that.

#GivingTuesday isn’t just for wealthy donors, either. The campaign utilizes time and talents of individuals or organizations who cannot contribute financially by matching them with local networks with corresponding needs.

As you make your Christmas list, begin shopping for gifts and fall into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take a moment to think about what you can give to a greater cause.
Find a campaign near you that you can get involved with by giving your time, money or talents to help others. Post using #GivingTuesday to encourage others to do the same and expand the movement around the world.

Walker is a senior journalism and mass communication major.

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