If you made it through the celebrations of consumption known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, then you may have looked up from your Secret Santa wish list long enough to notice yesterday was Giving Tuesday. In the ever-increasingly, long lead-up to Christmas, Giving Tuesday stands as a single day solely dedicated to charity and selflessness.
How quaint! A whole 24 hours to redirect our excessive consumerism toward those in need.
If this is the season of giving, why is the notion of selfless giving relegated to only one day? Demonstrating care for other people’s social well-being – the very definition of charity – could (ahem, should) be a daily act, not one day’s efforts. The fact is, we’ll shell out more for wrapping paper and cards than most parents can afford to spend on presents for their kids. That said, there are endless ways to make someone’s day, so don’t get caught up in the monetary amount of your charity. A simple pay-it-forward act of kindness goes a long way this time of year.
Here are a few ideas ranging from zero to $$$ to add some everyday philanthropy (#filanthropy) to your holiday season. Have a favourite way to give back during the holidays? Share in the comments below.
Free & Cheap
Give the gift of encouragement. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation welcomes gifts of “encouraging thought” to share with the patients and clients who rely on CAMH every day. On your lunch break, why not tap out a few bon mots to remind someone that life is worth living and that recovery is possible?
Socks for Souls has partnered with Indie88 and on-air talent Josie Dye to collect thousands of socks for Toronto’s Homeless community. Every $1 donated can purchase two pairs of socks, so by skipping your afternoon oat milk latte you could gift socks to 10 people.
$50 or less
After scoring a pair of discounted shoes on Black Friday, don’t just recycle the shoebox. Consider putting together a box of goodies for a woman struggling with homelessness. The Shoebox Project distributes gift-filled Shoeboxes to women living in shelters across Canada, the United States, and the UK. Fill it with small items designed to comfort and pamper a woman who has been displaced from their homes and estranged from their families.
Second Harvest hosts a holiday auction with over 100 incredible gifts for your friends and family. Proceeds support Second Harvest’s food rescue program, where fresh, perishable food is diverted to their network of over 384 social service agencies. The items include everything from travel to cooking classes, toys to sports tickets. But hurry, the auction closes at 10:00 am (EST) on Monday December 9, 2019!