What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday following Thanksgiving to center our focus on giving back.
The context of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is increasingly being commercialized as a time to buy things rather than a time to reflect on the gifts we already have and to express our gratitude. Let’s stop and think about just how counterintuitive we’ve made Thanksgiving. First off, the holiday is founded on a more complex story about the Wampanoag people and the Pilgrims than the history classes may have taught us. The disregard for the indigenous people who cultivate this land is the underlying theme behind the whitewashed history of this celebration. Secondly, following a day of thankfulness we have days dedicated to shopping for ourselves, thereby fueling capitalism, creating a large wealth gap in the United States and a reliance on underpaid labor to supply the goods we buy.
We can still acknowledge the inequities and value the day of Thanksgiving, by focusing back on the meaning behind the name of the celebration. Giving thanks is relatively easy because it works like an automated response. Similar to when someone holds the door open for you and you say, “Thank you.” It ends there and doesn’t go any deeper. Gratitude goes beyond giving mere thanks and convicts us to return the kindness that has been shown to us. While being thankful remains a feeling, gratitude overwhelms us with the desire to return the favor out of thankfulness.
Let that sink in. Thankfulness is a feeling and gratitude is an action.
Anyone can give thanks, but giving gratitude calls for action and not everyone is willing to take that extra step. Thanksgiving is a season of gathering with loved ones (albeit virtually this year) and a time for giving thanks, but with our present-day values of consumerism and a focus on ourselves, that thoughtful message is too often lost.
The history of Giving Tuesday
To tackle this modern-day imbalance, 92 Street Y, a nonprofit cultural and community center in New York, started the #GivingTuesday campaign in 2012. Giving Tuesday utilizes the fast pace of social media to bring different people together to collaborate and create change in our communities. Each year Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and is a day to encourage and celebrate generosity. There is nothing wrong with celebrating and enjoying the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so embrace the trend and join us for a day dedicated to giving back as well!
Consider giving on Giving Tuesday and help us work towards one day where no one lives in extreme global poverty.
Transform your thanks into a heart of gratitude on Thanksgiving and this Giving Tuesday. Join us as we make a lasting impact together.
More stories of impact
Orphanages are often serving as a stopgap for families who are struggling in poverty. In Uganda, Harriet lives with her two daughters but struggles to provide for them. With no choice but to leave her abusive husband, Harriet did not have the means to provide food,...
The world has made a lot of progress toward reducing global hunger over the last century. Still, around 735 million people experienced hunger in 2022, and the numbers grew over the last few years due to conflict, climate change and COVID (FAO 2023). To work toward...
Hello everyone! My name is Micah and I am the Operations and Projects Coordinator here at One Day's Wages. After getting the chance to go on a partner visit with my colleague Daphne, One Day's Wages' Grants Director, to Tanzania, I wanted to share my highlights and...
Theopista Seuya is the Asante Africa Foundation Country Director for Tanzania. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education Policy and International Development from the University of Bristol, and previously served as a teacher, head of school, and university lecturer. ...
One Day’s Wages began in 2009 with one small grant: $5,000 to help 200 displaced Burmese students attend school. This August, we reached the significant milestone of awarding our 300th grant! This most recent grant will build the capacity of 225 midwives to...
Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring, and receiving of people, typically by force or coercion, for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking can take many forms. One of ODW’s partners, Next Generation Nepal (NGN), stops...