The first annual national day of giving will take place this Tuesday, Dec. 3, in an effort to "kick off the giving season." Although #GivingTuesday has filled its roster with official partners and is no longer accepting any others, the organization is encouraging individuals and families to take part by donating to their favorite charity or charitable organization just the same.
So how can you get involved?
Here are some ideas, for starters:
1. Share an #UNselfie
Selfie was recently named the word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, but you can join the movement simply by posting the opposite: an #UNselfie (anything besides... a picture of yourself). Include a reason why you are a giver, and fuel the #GivingTuesday fire.
2. Donate to Care.org
If you decide to make a monetary contribution to Care.org, it will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $1 million. The charitable organization benefits children and families in the poorest parts of the world, and is working with the victims of Typhoon Haiyan as the ravaged Philippines try to rebuild.
3. Donate time or money to a specific #GivingTuesday partner across the nation
Ccroll through the list of partners, both local and national, and get in touch with one to see how you can best donate. There are 42 pages of partners in Massachusetts on the Giving Tuesday website, and many of them have roots in Boston, including Boston's Children's Hospital, Boston Partners in Education, and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.
4. Donate to the Animal Rescue League of Boston
For the second year in a row, the Animal Rescue League of Boston is participating and partnering in the movement, and this year it is asking people to consider donating to the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hand Fund which "provides financial assistance to families with limited economic means at the time of veterinary emergencies," according to its website.
5. Donate to Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
BHCHP is an official partner of Giving Tuesday and is asking for donations to help continue serving more than 12,000 homeless men, women, and children each year.
6. Donate to Nativity Prep to help low-income middle school boys of all faiths in Boston
Nativity Preparatory School in Jamaica Plain is requesting that potential donors consider charitable gifts of $10 (provides one student with afternoon activities for the entire winter), $25 (provides one student with breakfast and lunch for an entire month), $50 (provides one student with textbooks for an entire year), or $100 (provides one student with supplies and workbooks for an entire year).
7. Inspire others by sharing your story
If you do decide to get involved with one of the listed partners or with another organization of your choice, there is an option to share your story on the Giving Tuesday website.
If you have an idea for a way to get involved locally, feel free to post it in the comments!
#GivingTuesday started with New York's 92nd Street Y, a nonprofit community and cultural arts center, that partnered with The United Nations Foundation to create #GivingTuesday initiatives. Last year, the movement recorded 2,500 partners from all 50 states, and several donor websites like Blackbaud and DonorPerfect reported staggering increases in gifts given on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.