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Opinion: Why you should celebrate National Day of Giving locally
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Family Promise hosted its first Christmas Promise Store in 2018 at St. Paul United Methodist Church. Donations are accepted and then sold at a discounted price to families in need. - photo by Scott Rogers

Thanks largely to the advent of social media, most of us have been exposed to a virtual cornucopia of “national days” set aside to recognize some obscure event or silly notion. There’s a National Hangover Day, and Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Popcorn Day, and Cheeseburger Day, and Wrong Way Day, and — well, the list goes on and on.

According to www.nationaldaycalendar.com, whose job apparently is to keep up with the annual calendar of silliness, there are more than 1,500 such events that have been arbitrarily established, most for no other purpose than to provide a moment of mild entertainment or to promote a particular product from a marketing standpoint.

But of the 1,500, there are a few that truly are worth noting, and one of those is the National Day of Giving, also known as #GivingTuesday, which this year is recognized on Dec. 3.

Coming on the heels of highly commercial events like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, the Day of Giving serves as reminder for us all that this very special holiday season needs to be about more than how much we can buy and spend.

The Times editorial board

Staff members

  • Norman Baggs, general manager
  • Shannon Casas, editor in chief

Community members

  • Cheryl Brown
  • David George
  • Mandy Harris
  • Brent Hoffman
  • J.C. Smith
  • Tom Vivelo
Read more

Local giving opportunities this season

Started in 2012 in New York, the Day of Giving concept for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has in fact grown and spread worldwide so that now it has global reach and appeal.

Major corporate participation and promotion by companies such as Google and Facebook help to assure not only that the message is spread, but that millions of corporate dollars are pledged or donated to charitable causes on that single day in addition to individual contributions. The website www.givingtuesday.org reports that in 2018, some $400 million was donated online during the National Day of Giving.

But while online donations are the focus of the formal collection process for the Day of Giving, and charities worldwide are among the recipients, we don’t need to forget the many worthwhile charities and nonprofits here at home that would benefit from our donations of money, time or resources.

The need to support worthy charitable causes is one that exists year-round, and our community has demonstrated time and again that it has a giving heart and is ready to provide assistance to those in need. In fact, the level of philanthropy evident in our area is simply amazing.

This time of year, there seems to be a natural inclination for most of us to be generous in efforts aimed at helping others, which is good in that the holidays seem to exacerbate the need for such generosity.

From the highly efficient Georgia Mountain Food Bank to the seasonal Empty Stocking Fund, we are blessed with many worthy organizations doing excellent work here in our community. Whether you want to give $5 in quarters or establish a $1 million charitable foundation, there are opportunities aplenty to do so in our area.

As you read and hear of Giving Tuesday opportunities this week, we hope you will remember the many options available locally to anyone who wants to help those who may be less fortunate or facing difficult times.

During this period of universal goodwill, those of us who are capable of sharing some of the bounty with which our lives have been blessed have many excellent opportunities for doing so. We hope if you can, you will.

‘Tis the season for helping others, whether through the organized efforts of the National Day of Giving or by dropping a dollar in the kettle of a Salvation Army bell ringer. We hope you will celebrate the season by doing so.

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