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Thanks to Henry Timms, deputy executive director of the Jewish community center 92nd Street Y, Giving Tuesday and its upcoming Twitter party is the answer for those who have looked on in disdain at Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While some are stampeding (literally) to get those Black Friday deals, and servers are crashing while consumers are virtually stampeding to Cyber Monday, there has been an air of disgust by many on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, at the blatant, frenzied consumerism that seems to make those rabid shoppers a parody of the typical American. America, the only country where we give thanks for what we have on Thursday, and then run out to buy more on Friday.
Says Facebook user Sarah S., “work. buy. consume. die. screw black friday, the best things in life aren’t things.”
And over on Twitter:
@bobbarr “Black Friday” shows people at their worst – petty, greedy, self-centered and mindless – retailers should just stop it.
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@MrsPopular_ Black Friday = A bunch of greedy shoppers lining up to buy from greedy corporations #Fact
@briii93 all Black Friday does is prove how greedy people are the day after we said everything we’re already thankful for.
Giving Tuesday is the hopeful new tradition that is the answer to consumer greed: by devoting a day to giving back to those in need; the true spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. The idea of Giving Tuesday is to get people as foaming-at-the-mouth excited at the idea of giving on this day as they are about trampling their neighbor for a new flat screen TV.
The idea of Giving Tuesday has come from Henry Timms, deputy executive director of nonprofit cultural and community center, the Jewish community center 92nd Street Y. The New York-based non-profit has an anonymous donor willing to match donations up to $50,000. For those in the non-profit world, or who are natural givers, this prospect will quickly make them just as excited as a mom of three sucker-punching a grandmother for the last Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star Doll. But the challenge is getting these die-hard deals fans just as pumped up about charity, and it holds the potential to make a pretty sad statement about our country if we cannot even come close.
While many donors rush to give at the end of the year (in time to deduct it from their taxes), the movement is hopeful that it will spark people to give during a time of year that charitable donations are dismal, and yet most desperately needed. And don’t forget to ask your place of employment to participate – many businesses build charitable donations into their budget (because it’s tax deductible) and they often wait until this time of year to decide to whom to donate. Participating in Giving Tuesday could not be easier: simply pick a charity of your choice and make a contribution. Remember, no donation is too small, every little bit helps. If you cannot give, offer to volunteer at a local charity. No matter what you do, simply commit to somehow helping a charity on Tuesday, November 27th, then share it with #GivingTuesday, to help spread the word!
Also, if you are strapped for cash, or unable to volunteer, consider fostering a shelter pet for the holidays through Petfinder.com’s program, “Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays.” Heck, help an elderly person carry their packages to their car! No amount of help is too small to perpetuate #GivingTuesday.
How are YOU planning to give back on Giving Tuesday?
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