By Samantha Hogan

GivingTuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The global generosity movement started in 2012 to encourage acts of kindness. The movement was created to help the “giving season” get started, reminding people that there is much more to holidays than consumerism and commercialization. There are many ways to participate. From assisting your neighbors with a small task to delivering warm meals to underprivileged families. There is no gesture to big or small. 

operation santa

Here are 5 ways to give back this GivingTuesday.

  1. Do something kind for a friend or neighbor. This act could be more complex like offering to help with a project, bringing over a hot meal, helping a single parent, dropping off a treat, or as simple as spending extra time with an elderly neighbor. Read a story to a friend’s child to give her a much needed  ten minute break, treat the next person in line to a cup of coffee. Any small act of kindness goes a long way. 
  2. Help bring holiday cheer to a child and family in need through Operation Santa. Operation Santa provides gifts and hot meals for families during the holiday season through your help and generous donations. Donate directly or buy a gift for a child through the Lesniak Institute’s Amazon registry. Can’t swing it on your own? Split it with a friend! If you’re celebrating Friendsgiving this year, sponsoring a child together for Giving Tuesday (or Thanksgiving/Christmas) is a special way to celebrate. There is so much more joy in giving than receiving sometimes.
  3. Send cards to our deployed troops and those in the military. For those that can’t be home for the holidays, a card from someone who cares is a great way to give back to the ones serving us. Projects like the Military Holiday Card Challenge layout guidelines for sending cards to our troops. It’s a great way to give back and you can get family and friends to join you, too.animal shelter
  4. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, or donate supplies to one. Local animal shelters are often in need of supplies like blankets, treats, and food for the animals in their care. Donating your time is another great way to give back at no cost to you. Plus, for animal lovers, the joy from spending time with furry friends up for adoption is mutually beneficial. This year, we are helping a young Giving Tuesday Spark ambassador collect pet supplies for an animal shelter. We’ve placed a box on the second floor of the STEM building at Kean University for people to donate supplies. See how simple it is to participate?
  5. Drop off non-perishable food to a local food bank or purchase small denomination gift cards to local cafes or fast-food places to give to people experiencing homelessness or in need. Local shelters are often in need of food donations, especially during the holiday season. Take a day to go through your pantry or pick up a few extra items on your next grocery run to make a big impact for someone in need. Gift cards of $10+ are another great way to help out someone who is struggling. In addition, purchasing from local eateries helps support small businesses, too. That’s a double Giving Tuesday deed!

Related: Operation Santa

giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is about spreading kindness.

No matter how small the act of kindness, just remember that it can go such a long way.

You never know what someone else is going through. If you’re going to be anything, be a light in this world that needs it so much. 

Happy Holidays!