Generosity has the power to unite and heal communities in good times and bad. A global threat like COVID-19 touches every person on the planet, and it presents an opportunity to come together as a global community. #GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 – in addition to the regularly scheduled #GivingTuesday which falls the Tuesday after USA's Thanksgiving – as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. I have supported #GivingTuesday for several years on Wardrobe Oxygen, I think it's an important day of giving that makes a major impact and falls at a time when we are spending time with loved ones while also spending a lot of money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. #GivingTuesdayNow is so important; while some areas are lifting restrictions, so many have been devastated by this pandemic and will continue to need help. Your support, no matter how small, can make a major impact. If you do participate today, share with the hashtag #GivingTuesdayNow to inspire others to also join in and to see how far-reaching this initiative can be!
How to Participate in #GivingTuesdayNow
While the most obvious way to participate is to donate to an organization, there are many ways you can participate in #GivingTuesdayNow without spending a dime. Every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. We can also show social connection and come together on behalf of our communities even while practicing physical distancing.
- Write thank-you notes, post on social media, complete reviews when applicable, and share your appreciation for the people and organizations that are helping your community.
- Consider doing an #UNselfie. The #UNselfie, or the selfless selfie, is a powerful way to show how and why you are giving. Here's how to do an #UNselfie:
- Take a “selfie” photo (this can be just you, or you wearing a t-shirt or hat for the organization you are supporting).
- Consider printing out one of the approved Unselfie templates at this Google Drive link or use the Instagram GIFs you can find with the document at this link. Canva is also offering templates for square photos; here is a link to one of them.
- Write a caption to explain how or why you and/or your family are giving and add the hashtags #UNselfie and #GivingTuesdayNow to your caption.
- Post your #UNselfie to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms to motivate others to do the same!
- If you don't wish to do a selfie, Giving Tuesday has a pack of graphics you can share instead.
- Safely volunteer virtually from your home. Give your voice to help raise awareness, lend your talents to give pro bono hours to a nonprofit who needs your expertise, or take an hour to call a senior who may be alone. Virtual volunteers can complete short-term or long-term tasks, in whole or in part, typically off-site from the organization or person being assisted. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, thousands of different volunteer projects and roles are available to you. Click here to see what virtual volunteer positions are posted at All For Good.
- Support small businesses in your community by making a purchase or promoting it on social media. Raise awareness for organizations in your area that are getting hit the hardest by this pandemic.
- Support your neighbors. Consider buying groceries for another, offer to walk a neighbor's pet, call a friend, hang a heart or sign in your window, use chalk to create art and thank you notes on your driveway and around the neighborhood, if you are a talented musician consider hosting a concert from your balcony.
- Help with response efforts by bringing groceries to at-risk individuals, sewing masks for nurses and doctors, donating excess food items to shelters and food banks, or giving blood. Click here to find your local food bank; click here to find out where you can donate blood. Shelters are also in need of menstrual hygiene products and new or gently worn bras; click here to find out how and where you can donate such items.
Wardrobe Oxygen donates a portion of each month's profits to a different charity. Since COVID-19 I have shared an organization each week in Weekend Reads and donated to that organization. The past two weeks I have offered tips on how to help that weren't focused on a charity so these are the organizations I am donating to for Giving Tuesday.
- The Maryland chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Before COVID-19 hit, NAMI Maryland was in the process of moving to much larger office space with more room for their staff, volunteers, and interns to answer helpline calls, provide trainings, and hold meetings. Now, their work has grown exponentially as we face one of the most serious challenges to the mental and physical health of this country.
- SOME (So Others Might Eat). SOME has been on the front lines of fighting homelessness, hunger, and poverty in Washington, DC, for 50 years. As our nation's capital battles the coronavirus, SOME remains dedicated to ensuring that DC's most vulnerable residents receive the care and services they need.
- Give Local Together. Give Local Together is a collection of nonprofits in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia) who need support during this difficult and challenging time. They range across social issues, but all are headquartered in the DC area and are small to mid-sized organizations. Click here to see the 164 nonprofits that are part of Give Local Together.
I Want to Hear from You!
One of the ways I've found to keep sadness and stress at bay at this time is to focus on good news. What did you do to participate in #GivingTuesdayNow? Are you part of an organization that benefits from this day and have a great story to share? Let us know how you are helping others today or any day during this pandemic to give us hope and ideas on how we too can benefit others.