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What is Giving Tuesday?

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What is Giving Tuesday?

This year—to celebrate Giving TuesdayMaps Credit Union will be giving $10,000 to local schools—and our members get to help us pick the schools! Just nominate your favorite K-12 Marion or Polk County school (public or private) and we will select 20 schools at random from the pool of nominees to receive $500 each! The $500 prize can be used for classroom supplies, school-wide projects, after-school clubs, or individual student needs. Nominations must be submitted by November 19, 2023, and the winners will be announced on Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2023.  

What is Giving Tuesday?

Put simply, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to be charitable and generous—particularly with nonprofits and charitable causes. The initiative began in 2012 as a joint project between the United Nations Foundation and New York City’s 92nd Street Y (a.k.a., YMCA).

In the years since, the concept has amassed a large following and the hashtag #GivingTuesday has become a popular tool to inspire generosity among social media users. In 2019, Giving Tuesday became an independent organization with a goal “to create a more just and generous world, one where generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe.”

When is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is always celebrated on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November, that means giving Tuesday falls either on the last Tuesday of November or the first Tuesday of December. This year, it falls on November 28, 2023.

How Can I Participate in Giving Tuesday?

1. Nominate your school for our Giving Tuesday campaign! We are giving $10,000 to local schools and you can help pick the schools! Nominate your favorite local K-12 school and we will randomly select 20 from the pool of nominees (including 8 schools from Salem-Keizer, 6 from Marion County, 3 from Polk County, and 3 private schools). Each school will receive $500 to fund classroom supplies, school-wide projects, after-school clubs, or individual student needs.

2. Donate Blood. The American Red Cross has a critical need for blood donors of all blood types. Learn about the eligibility requirements and schedule and appointment or download the Blood Donor App to learn more. There are several local blood drives scheduled for the week of Giving Tuesday including one at the Salem Blood Donation Center (1860 Hawthorne Ave NE, Salem) and one at Blanchet Catholic High School (4373 Market Street, Salem).

3. Give nourishment. Volunteer at a local food pantry like Marion Polk Food Share. The organization—which feeds people in our community—runs on the time, talents, and resources of volunteers. They have a variety of volunteer opportunities including repacking food, gardening, delivering Meals on Wheels, and other ways to assist in the fight against hunger.

4. Donate to a Nonprofit. If you have funds to give, choose a nonprofit or community organization that aligns with your values. Love the theater? Become a one-time or monthly donor at Pentacle Theater (or just tickets to see a show). Want to help the homeless? Make a financial donation or give much-needed items to Northwest Human Services. Want to encourage literacy in kids? Make an endowment or donate money to SMART Reading. Their organization is funded almost entirely by private gifts from individuals, foundations, and businesses and every gift ensures that they can provide vital reading support to more than 11,000 of Oregon’s kids every year.

5. Pay it Forward. Look for simple ways to send kindness out into the universe. Want some examples? Send a gratitude email to a coworker. Offer to babysit for some new parents. Leave quarters at the laundromat. At the coffee shop? Instead of paying for the next person’s order (after all, they can already afford to pay or they wouldn’t be there), give the baristas the biggest tip you can afford.

6. Distribute Essentials. Assemble kits of essential items to offer unhoused people or others in need. Keep them in your car to distribute or drop them off at a local shelter. Include a bottle of water and some non-perishable snacks as well as first aid supplies, menstrual supplies, lip balm, socks, warm gloves, and hand warmers. You could also drop off some pajamas for the United Way Pajama Drive (now through November 30, 2023). Stop by one of their donation sites or donate online through their Amazon wish list.

7. Help Your Neighbors. Offer to rake the leaves or do other chores for an elderly neighbor. Surprise a new mom with a casserole or a couple hours of babysitting time. Adopt a Street or start a community project—like a community garden, a park cleanup, a Little Free Library, or a piece of public art.

8. Help Animals. If you love animals, there are lots of ways to give them a little love for Giving Tuesday. For example, you could donate money or time to the Oregon Humane Society. You could also sponsor a pet, become a pet foster care volunteer, or host a fundraiser. Love horses? Support the awe-inspiring work of an organization like HART (Horses Adaptive Riding & Therapy) by sponsoring or donating to cover farrier service, veterinary services, and other necessary care.

9. Help the Environment. Plant a tree. Give money to an environmental charity. Sign up for a work party at the Audubon Nature Reserve (480 Eola Drive NW, Salem). Sign up for an Invasive Weed Removal event or   educate yourself on how to reduce waste and energy consumption. Try to make your #GivingTuesday a zero waste day.

10, Give Thanks. Don’t have a lot of money or time to give? You can still do your part by offering gratitude and kindness to people at home, work, or out in the community. Send a thank you note to a healthcare professional who went the extra mile for you. Leave a basket of goodies and drinks for delivery and postal workers. Send a letter to someone who helped you or mentored you.

Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages us to give back in whatever ways we can. What’s more, you don’t need a lot of money (or time) to participate. Whether it’s offering a smile or a helping hand, raising money or organizing volunteers, we all have something we can contribute. Before this year’s #GivingTuesday, think about your gifts and talents. Consider what you can offer—even if it is just words of encouragement and gratitude to those around you. AND, don’t forget to nominate your favorite school for our Giving Tuesday campaign!

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