We have Black Friday, we have Small Business Saturday, we have Cyber Monday… well now it’s time to switch gears and focus our energies on Giving Tuesday (It may be our new favorite!). Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2nd, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give back.

The idea for Giving Tuesday was first announced in October 2012. The idea was born with the intent to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season in order to inspire action around charitable giving. Giving Tuesday was created to help the “giving season” start, reminding people that there is much more to the holidays than consumerism and commercialization. It began when two organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012. Obviously, their intention was focused on celebrating the generosity of giving. Social media outlets, philanthropic endeavors and grassroots campaigns quickly joined forces and created a group of founding fathers… including United Nations Foundation, Cisco, Mashable, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Sony, Aldo, Groupon, UNICEF, Google, Skype, Microsoft and UniLever. In 2013, more organizations jumped on the train, including Ebay (who gives a percentage of all its sales proceeds from a week in December to Giving Tuesday) and fashion designer Kevin Cole, who designed the awareness bracelets.

The possibilities of Giving Tuesday are truly endless, with many ways to celebrate this great cause. You can organize fundraisers- with the proceeds going to a charity of your choice, go to a blood drive or volunteer at a hospital or nursing home. The hashtag, #GivingTuesday was even created to get the meaning of the day trending on multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. With a simple message such as giving back, it’s easy for people all over the country to participate. Some of our favorite local shops are joining in, including Bungalow 7, who’s donating 10% of all sales to three selected local charities or nonprofits of your choice.

So whether it’s giving money to your favorite cause,  volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or donating Christmas presents to families in need… there are endless ways for you and your family to get involved. Let’s give back!!