The end of November brings a plenitude of holidays to celebrate. Thanksgiving celebrates everything we have to be thankful for, while Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday celebrate the start of holiday shopping. Today, we shift towards the charitable portion of the holiday season with National Day of Giving, a day dedicated to giving back to the community.
The History of National Day of Giving
National Day of Giving, or Giving Tuesday as it is recognized on social media, began in 2012 in collaboration with the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y. Observed on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the day was created to celebrate giving back to the community and encourage others to get involved with charitable events taking place during the holiday season.
While initially started as a national holiday, the message of National Day of Giving has expanded globally by harnessing the power and influence of social media. Through the hashtag #GivingTuesday, thousands of organizations, volunteers, partners, and families across the world are able to connect, share, and spread kindness on a day dedicated to spreading awareness and generosity.
Celebrating our Community Partners
To celebrate National Day of Giving, we’re recognizing our community partners who have made it their mission to carry out the goals and vision of this holiday every day of the year.
Lauren’s Heroes Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that aims to fundraise and raise awareness about rare vision conditions such as Aniridia. Lauren’s Heroes Inc. was inspired by a seven year old named Lauren with Aniridia and Glaucoma, vision problems stemming from being born without an iris and underdeveloped retinas. By sharing Lauren’s story, the organization hopes to assist those living with Aniridia as well as support children and adults with vision impairments through advocacy.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County offers one-on-one mentorships for at-risk youth in Ocean County. Through their community-based, school-based, and workplace-based mentorship programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County provides children facing adversity with a healthy, productive outlet to learn and develop. The strong, meaningful relationships formed between Bigs and Littles help to prevent the need for justice and school interdisciplinary intervention by providing them with a long-lasting positive role model.
How you can give back: Make a donation – all proceeds go towards funding for events and hiring social workers as part of the mentorship program.
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide organization working towards saving lives and creating a world with less cancer diagnoses. The community-based volunteer organization has spent nearly 100 years dedicated to preventing and lessening suffering from cancer through various research, education, advocacy, and service programs.
How you can give back: Join the fight against cancer by making a one-time or monthly donation – all proceeds go towards cancer research, education, and patient care.
For the past century, the Girl Scouts organization has been inspiring young girls across the country to live with courage, confidence, and character while making the world a better place. Through team building exercises and hours of community service throughout southern New Jersey, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore helps girls discover and embrace their strengths, talents, and passions as they continue to learn and grow.
How you can give back: Make a monetary donation – all proceeds go towards traditional Girl Scouting, non-traditional Girl Scouting for girls at risk, STEM programs, camping opportunities, scholarships, and financial assistance. Visit their website for alternative giving options, such as Amazon, banking, and mobile giving.
The Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean is a 501c(3) volunteer organization that helps to provide financial support to local food banks. Through fundraising events and locally grown food at the Stafford Community Garden at Lake Manahawkin, the Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean provides for the Barnegat Food Pantry, Father Ken’s Kitchen at St. Mary’s Parish, Greater Tuckerton Food Pantry, King of Kings Church Lacey Food Bank Program, Ocean Community Church, St. Francis Community Center , St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Through their work, they aim to help “end childhood hunger one plate at a time.”
How you can give back: Donate on their website – all proceeds go towards the food banks served by the organization.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ocean County supports and speaks for abused and neglected children in the courtroom. Since 2006, CASA has recruited and trained volunteers throughout Ocean County to collect information about the foster child’s current situation. Volunteers will meet with the child’s family, foster family, doctors, and teachers before reporting their findings to a judge in order to make the best-informed decision for the child’s future.
How you can give back: Make a one-time, monthly, quarterly, or annual donation – all proceeds go towards funding CASA programs. Donors can also sponsor a child by making a donation to cover volunteer recruitment and training fees, or shop to support at select stores who donate a portion of their proceeds to CASA.
Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian housing ministry based in Toms River, NJ. With the help of hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life, NOHFH is working to build decent, affordable housing to create healthy, vibrant, and self-sufficient communities.
How you can give back: Make a monetary donation on their website, donate gently used household goods to the ReStore, or donate your services and expertise with an in-kind contribution – all proceeds go towards future home builds and programs.
Hearts of Mercy aims to break the societal taboo of homelessness in Southern Ocean County, NJ. With the help of volunteers, Hearts of Mercy helps homeless and struggling families and individuals dependent on government assistance get back on their feet. They also strive to spread awareness about the homelessness problem in Ocean County in order to encourage volunteers to get involved.
How you can give back: Make a donation on their website – all proceeds go towards funding programs and future events.
Ocean Mental Health Services addresses and assists with the mental health needs of Ocean County residents and their families. Through their services, which include behavioral health, substance abuse, and integrated healthcare, Ocean Mental Health Services helps to reintegrate their patients into community life in order to build a better tomorrow.
How you can give back: Make a donation on their website – proceeds will go to a designation of your choice (General Gift Donation, Grandparents Club, or Other).
How You Can Celebrate National Day of Giving
Along with donating to your favorite non-profits, there are several other ways to tap into the charitable spirit of National Day of Giving:
- Hashtag #GivingTuesday: Pay homage to the hashtag that made this holiday globally known! Post a photo volunteering or give a shout-out to your favorite non-profit organizations on social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
- Take Advantage of Holiday Deals: Black Friday and Cyber Monday might be over, but many retailers still have special deals on any merchandise that did not sell during the shopping holidays. Look for sales on toys to donate to a toy drive or clothes to donate to a homeless shelter before the holidays.
- Give Back Without Spending a Dime: Giving back doesn’t have to mean spending money! Look for non-monetary ways to give back, such as cooking meals for a family in need or volunteering to read to children at your local library.
How are you getting involved with National Day of Giving? Be sure to share how you are getting into the giving spirit and highlight some of your favorite local non-profits in the comments!