Willie Braudaway

Willie Braudaway

We braved the crowds on Black Friday. We supported Small Business Saturday yesterday. Tomorrow we will keep the Internet merchants busy confirming sales on Cyber Monday. However, the best post-Thanksgiving day vying for not just our dollars this year but also our time and talents means being truly thankful. That day is Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday began its life as a simple idea. “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals … wouldn’t it be great to have a day for giving back?”

Inaugurated in 2012, Giving Tuesday “is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.”

I first heard about Giving Tuesday through an email sent from United Way headquarters; United Way just happens to be a founding partner of the movement. Of course, I can see how folks honoring Giving Tuesday might help United Way of Val Verde County get a bit closer to its fundraising goal. As a former United Way Chief Professional Officer, I sincerely hope that those who can will consider regular deductions from your paychecks to United Way of Val Verde County – or just give a lump sum.

But “giving” is about so much more than money. It’s also about giving your time and talents to help others – even strangers. Giving Tuesday reminds me of the message in a church hymn, Because I Have Been Given Much:

“Because I have been given much, I, too, must give.”

Even in the midst of these trying economic times, we can recognize that we have more than what it takes to merely subsist in this world and can give of our abundance.

“Because of Thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live”

Those of us who know from whom our bountiful life comes can show gratitude each and every day.

“I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see”

Dividing our money, time, and talents with family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that gratitude.

“Who has the need of help from me”

Sometimes we are the one meant to be the instrument to bless the lives of others.

So, consider today how you will celebrate Giving Tuesday. One idea I saw that intrigued me was for merchants to commit a portion of their Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and/or Cyber Monday proceeds to a favorite cause – like United Way! Hey, all you members of the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce and Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, what do you think of that idea?

Willie Braudaway strives to make life better as a librarian, genealogist, and member of various community organizations. Contact her at librarywillie@hotmail.com.

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