GivingTuesday is more than a nonprofit—it’s a worldwide generosity movement.
It all began in New York City in 2012 with the goal of harnessing the power of generosity to bring everyone together. Now, more than 70 countries participate in the global GivingTuesday event.
Today’s event—supported by 225 communities in the United States alone—is the second GivingTuesday of the year. In a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers quickly launched a targeted event labeled #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5.
There are endless ways to participate in GivingTuesday today. As the nonprofit has said, the event isn’t based solely on monetary donations. The GivingTuesday website features a list of ways to join the generosity movement:
- Reach out to the elderly. For example, call an elderly person you know or ask a nursing home how you can help.
- Put together a care package (or packages if you’re able). Items to include: non-perishable food, bottled water, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, lip balm, feminine hygiene supplies, socks…
- Thank essential workers and First Responders. Send thank you notes to doctors, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement, hospitality workers (most likely your peers if you’re here reading this), retail workers, delivery drivers, etc.
- Volunteer your time. Contact a shelter or food bank in your area to give them a helping hand or food items you can spare. There are even virtual opportunities to volunteer that don’t require you to leave your home.
- Be nice. We should all do this every day, obviously. But check in on your family and friends. Make sure your neighbors are okay (safely, of course).
For those who would like to take part in GivingTuesday through monetary donations, the organization’s website can show you what communities are participating officially. (We’ve found the feature works best on mobile devices.)
Below are several charities to consider sending a donation, or that we hope will motivate you to donate to a similar organization.
- Opportunity Village. The Villains live in Las Vegas, and this not-for-profit organization is one of our favorites. Since 1954, Opportunity Village has been providing adults with intellectual and related disabilities to give them “pride, purpose and a paycheck” through job skill development, long-term work experience, independence, and broader community involvement and social interactivity.
- Tyler Robinson Foundation. This non-profit was created after an Imagine Dragons superfan named Tyler Robinson lost his fight against cancer at 17 years old. Donations help families #slaycancerwithdragons by defraying the costs they incur battling pediatric cancer.
- Mental Health America. MHA was founded in 1909 and is the top community-based nonprofit committed to addressing the needs of people who are living with mental illness. The nonprofit is also an advocacy organization, working toward education, understanding, early identification, intervention, protection, rights and dignity.
- The Trevor Project. In the past 12 months, according to this nonprofit, close to half of LGBTQ youth have seriously thought about committing suicide. The Trevor Project has been committed to crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ people under 25 years old.
- Southern Smoke. Like the other organizations in this list, Southern Smoke is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The mission is simple: “Taking care of our own.” Souther Smoke serves the F&B industry, and any donation is amount is welcome and crucial. Not only does this organization provide hospitality workers with relief funds, they currently offer free mental healthcare to those based in Texas.
Again, the examples above are just a fraction of the organizations you can support. All it takes to participate in #GivingTuesday is kindness and generosity in any form.
I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.
After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.
A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.