When our entire world is being rocked by COVID-19 and we’re all scrambling in one way or another, it’s more important than ever to focus on ways to give back. And that is why the great minds at givingtuesday.org have created #GivingTuesdayNow.

What is #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is “A Global Generosity Movement” (givingtuesday.org). It’s an international day of giving which is traditionally celebrated each year on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Founded in 2012 in a local Y in New York City, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the idea behind GivingTuesday was to give our nation a single day to focus on ‘doing good.’ Since that time, it has grown into a global movement, doing good in over 60 countries and raising over 511 million dollars in the USA, in 2019 alone.

What is considered ‘doing good’?

‘Doing good,’ as defined by GivingTuesday.org, is “making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help.” And as we all know, “every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.”

It’s about doing what we can to help our neighbors, our community, and our friends. It doesn’t matter if what you have to give is a smile, a warm coat, a helping hand, a voice to an injustice or a cause you feel passionate about, or even a truckload of cash.

What matters is that you give…not just on December 1st (#GivingTuesday2020), but every day, and if you can’t manage every day, then try out every Tuesday.

The idea is that together, we can change the world, one community at a time.

#GivingTuesdayNow isn’t any different. What’s different is the time and timing.

What is #GivingTuesdayNow?

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

COVID-19 is affecting every person on the planet, in some way. And people are hurting. Communities are struggling. And nations are reeling.

It may feel like we are powerless to do anything about it — that it’s just too big for any single individual. But we’re not powerless, and it’s not too big. Each one of us can make a difference to another individual, and if we gather together, well that’s when we’re strongest and can do the most good.

We’ve seen our strength when natural disasters have wiped out entire towns, and members of surrounding communities have gotten together and sheltered, fed, and given hope to those who have lost their homes. All throughout history, we’ve proven our strength time and time again. We’ve come together in times of need, over and over again and I’m certain that every nation, country, and community has a story about how something or someone tried to break them, but instead of splintering and falling apart, they (we) came together, supported each other, and rose up stronger. Together, we can affect change.

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global call to action. A call for everyone to come together, safely, and ‘do good’ as one. To change our attitudes, raise our spirits, and make a difference. It’s an opportunity to see for ourselves the power we have when we’re together — even if we’re standing at least 6’ apart, donning facemasks and gloves, and slathered with hand sanitizer.

No doubt it’s different under CDC guidelines. That doesn’t make ‘doing good’ less powerful — it makes it more important.

What you can give for #GivingTuesdayNow

While money is always appreciated, the best thing you can give is yourself.

The #GivingTuesdayNow website as a lot of great suggestions for how individuals can give this Tuesday. They even have a Participation Guide for Individuals on their resources page.

And since I tend to think on a smaller, closer-to-home scale, here are a few ideas of what (and how) you can give to your friends, neighbors, and community on #GivingTuesdayNow:

  • Time and energy. While money is always appreciated, think about giving your time and energy.
    • Help a neighbor get ready for spring by helping them pull some weeds, create and plant a new vegetable garden, fix their mower, or plant some flowers.
    • If you used to check-in with your neighbors over the fence or over some good bbq, create a virtual meeting to see how everyone is doing, swap bbq recipes, or share do’s and don’ts for homeschooling bored teenagers.
    • Call a local nonprofit organization and see how you can volunteer to help them serve your community.
  • Resources, skills, talents.
    • If you can sew, make some facemasks and drop them off at your neighbors’ doorsteps with a note that lets them know you’re thinking about them, and want to help keep them safe and healthy. Just be sure to include washing instructions for the masks and a “wash before wearing” notice.
    • If you’re skilled with a paintbrush or the written word, create signs and posters thanking those on the frontlines for all that they do.
  • Voice.
    • Lend your voice to a cause that you’re passionate about, whether it affects your family, friends, community, state, or nation — be heard.
  • Support.
    • Support your local small businesses by shopping locally, sharing their pages on your Facebook page, sharing images of items you purchased from them on Instagram, and pinning their great ideas on Pinterest.
    • Support your local nonprofits by donating goods or services, or volunteering your time. And share their stories, and links to fundraisers, on your social media pages.
  • Share.
    • Besides sharing to support businesses and nonprofits in your community, be sure to share positive and uplifting stories, memes, images, and even jokes with your followers and supporters. A smile or laugh can go a long way.
    • Yourself. While everything on this list is about giving something that you have, whether it’s resources, time, or knowledge, it all comes down to the same thing — giving of yourself.

If you’re still not sure what you can do to help … ask. Ask your neighbor if you can lend them a hand. Call a nonprofit to find out what they need right now, or what they’ll need shortly that you might be able to get for them. If nothing else be sure to ask how they’re doing.

And if someone asks you how you’re doing, or if they can help you in some way, be open and honest, and give them what can sometimes be the hardest thing to give … an opportunity to help you.

If you run a nonprofit and you’d like to raise funds on #GivingTuesdayNow, be sure to check out this Nonprofit Toolkit. It’s just one of the many resources provided by now.givingtuesday.org.