“For it is in giving that we receive.”
~Francis of Assisi
Today we are here to talk about a unique holiday—Giving Tuesday, which is celebrated internationally the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving back.
On this one day, charities, families, businesses, students and community centers unite to honor the spirit of giving.
Started by 92 Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in 2012, the day is a direct response to the consumerism and commercialization of the holiday season.
Giving Is Gaining Momentum
The Giving Tuesday movement has been gradually gaining strength since its inception.
In 2015, a survey showed that 93 percent of Americans were familiar with Black Friday while only 18 percent had ever heard of Giving Tuesday.
However, in that same year, the movement received a boost when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife announced their intention to donate 99 percent of their wealth to their newly formed Chan Zuckerberg initiative on Giving Tuesday.
In 2016, Giving Tuesday broke a new record with $168 million in donations worldwide, an increase of 44 percent from the prior year.
In 2017, this upward trend continued, fueled by Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who announced they would match $2 million in donations for Giving Tuesday fundraisers on Facebook.
A whopping $45 million was raised by nonprofits through Facebook on that day, placing the sum well above the $2 million matching limit.
Why Giving Makes Us Happy
Did you know that doing things for others increases our own happiness?
Through giving, we fulfill two of our basic needs as human beings, which is to connect and contribute.
Giving also makes us happier by providing a sense of meaning, reducing stress, improving our mood, and helping to take our minds off our own problems.
The best part about giving is that it is contagious. When we see someone do something kind (or are the recipient of kindness) it inspires us to be kinder too.
Kindness begets kindness.
The best way to observe this holiday is to participate!
Use this opportunity to donate money to your favorite cause or give back to your community by volunteering your time.
You can also commemorate this holiday by eating plant-based!
Try whipping up our delicious recipe for Almond Cranberry Granola, which you can enjoy as a snack and give as a gift to loved ones.