Today is Giving Tuesday, a new day designated for giving rather than getting. After four days focused on holiday shopping, the goal of Giving Tuesday is simple; let’s all give back together. Christian humanitarian organization World Vision is joining nearly two thousand organizations nationwide challenging Americans to take part in the new national movement. While participating organizations have each created their own project to give back, World Vision is uniquely encouraging several virtual volunteerism activities.
“Giving Tuesday is intended to open the holiday season on a philanthropic note and put heart back into the holidays,” says Sarah Renusch, World Vision’s Gift Catalog Director. “World Vision knows not everyone is able to take off work to physically volunteer, but we still are encouraging volunteers to give virtually by donating food, clothing, and a number of life-changing gifts online through World Vision.”
To help those affected by Superstorm Sandy, during the week of November 26, any gift of food, clothing, or school supplies for children in the U.S. given through World Vision’s Gift Catalog (www.worldvisiongifts.org) will be designated for the Christian humanitarian agency’s Sandy relief efforts. World Vision relief teams have been distributing much-needed supplies in some of the most vulnerable communities hit by this devastating storm on the East Coast.
Giving Tuesday comes at a much needed time. A new World Vision Holiday Giving Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, shows fewer Americans plan to give a charitable gift as a holiday present this year. In 2011, about half of U.S. adults (51%) agreed that, as a result of the current economic climate, they’d be “more likely” to give a charitable gift as a holiday present. This year, that percentage dropped to 45 percent. Meantime the survey also indicates that overall holiday spending could be up this year. Last year, 7 out of 10 (71%) Americans said they planned to spend less on holiday gifts as a result of the economic climate, yet this year, the number has dropped to 59 percent.
“World Vision is encouraged that our economy seems to be showing signs of improvement,” says Renusch. “Yet it is troubling to learn that shoppers aren’t planning to be as charitable as they’ve been in years past. To us, that means we could see a significant drop in the number of families and children being helped this year who truly do need assistance. If there is a silver lining,” Renusch adds, it’s that more than eight out of ten (83%) say they’d prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else instead of a traditional gift like clothing or electronics.”
There are many ways to participate in Giving Tuesday:
•Volunteer Virtually: Not everyone is able to take off work to physically volunteer, but you can volunteer virtually by donating food kits online through World Vision. Each ‘kit’ contains enough food to feed a family of five for one day ($16 per kit). During the week of Giving Tuesday (November 26 – December 2nd) food kits, clothing and school supplies in the U.S. given through World Vision’s Gift Catalog will be donated to those in need impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
• Give a Meaningful Gift: Share the spirit of Giving Tuesday by giving a gift that can change a life. World Vision’s Gift Catalog has hundreds of gifts such as goats, fresh water wells, and life- saving medicines that can be given in the name of a family member, teacher, co-worker or child and help one of more than 825,000 people around the world who benefit from gift catalog items. Gifts range in price from $16 to $39,000, and there are more than 250 items online to choose from. After purchasing a Gift Catalog item, the person whose name the gift was given in, can receive a special card describing the gift and its impact.
•Teach Generosity: Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for parents, grandparents, and teachers to help children understand the importance of generosity and giving to others. World Vision’s Gift Catalog can be a helpful educational tool. The Pendleton family, of Colorado, adopted their son from Kazakhstan. When he saw the Mongolian Ger in the catalog, he immediately wanted to buy one for people in his homeland. “I didn’t know how to explain to a 10-year-old that $1,862 is a lot of money, so I didn’t,” said mom Amy. “And sure enough, he raised it all!”
To learn more about World Vision’s Gift Catalog visit www.worldvisiongifts.org or call (888) 511-6511 . This year marks the 17th annual edition of the catalog. Since 1996 the catalog’s popularity as a gift-giving alternative has grown with more than 160,000 purchases last year raising over $33 million that helped more than 825,000 people around the world.
To find out more about Giving Tuesday go to www.givingtuesday.org