Tuesday Nov 29 is Giving Tuesday!! Did you know that this internationally recognized day to honour and encourage ‘giving’ originated in Canada in 2013? To date, 80 countries have signed on and in Canada alone, $43.6 million have been raised through online donations to various charities across the country. That’s impressive!
What does ‘giving’ mean to you? In these days of rising inflation and stretched budgets, donating to a favoured charity or community association might seem like a mountain too high to climb. But there are other ways to give back: they range from volunteering with a community organization to giving a simple smile and word of encouragement to someone. The bottom line is that charity, in whatever form it takes, is meant as an intentional act to improve the life/lives of others. None of us truly know what is going on inside another person’s head and a simple smile and gesture of welcome and acceptance could be the gift of a lifetime for someone who is struggling.
You may remember the movie Pay It Forward, based on a book by the same name, released in 2000, starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment and Helen Hunt. The premise of paying it forward was surprisingly simple and yet monumentally effective. That phrase became embedded in our culture and continues to be impactful to this day. What is a way that you can pay it forward?
There are so many ways to give your time from being part of an association’s leadership team to helping out for one day at a community event. Every minute matters. Volunteers are the backbone of our society. The bottom line is this: whether you are in a position to contribute financially, physically or emotionally, your ‘donation’ will be a pebble that ripples out into the world in ways that you can’t imagine.
Where there is need, there are opportunities. CanadaHelps might be a great place to look for groups that share your values. The Volunteer Action Centre is another place to look for opportunities to participate locally.
Remember, charity begins at home and that means taking care of and being nice to yourself. As the flight attendant says, put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Self-care will provide you a strong foundation from which you can change the world…one kindness at a time.