Giving Tuesday – bringing back the meaning of the season

November 26th, 2012

While my fellow Americans woke up early and fought long lines for big sales on what has aptly been named Black Friday, I was happily working away in the Communications office here at Practical Action.

Back in America, the holiday season officially started on Thursday with Thanksgiving. Immediately after Thanksgiving, chaos ensued at retail stores across America, as people pushed their way through crowds in pursuit of big savings on Black Friday. This is a day when most major retailers open extremely early and offer promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season.

Following the big in-store sales is Cyber Monday, taking place today. It’s a day for huge online shopping sales.

While I’m upset to have missed Thanksgiving, I can’t say that I miss the chaotic aftermath. It seems the true meaning of the holiday season has been lost.

Enter #GivingTuesday – a national campaign to brand the Tuesday after the holiday as an annual day of giving. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofits.

Over 1,000 businesses and NGO’s including big businesses like Mashable and Sony have signed up to the campaign. It’s sweeping the nation in America as a popular social media phenomenon, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t go international. I’m happy to be working for a charity who wants to bring the UK in on it.

At Practical Action, our Practical Presents are the creative gift ideas that people can buy for people in the developing world. They range from fluffy ducks that help people in Bangladesh earn an income to clean water taps that give a lifeline to people in Zimbabwe. You can donate the money to have one of these gifts sent to developing countries as a gift to someone in your life.

This #GivingTuesday I hope you will join in with us online and give a gift to someone in your life that will help the lives of people all over the world. Let’s remember what the holiday season is meant to be about!

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