Giving Tuesday logo and leaf background

Black Friday

Super Sale (and small business) Saturday

Cyber Monday

They are all just prelude to the important one, November 27, Giving Tuesday.

Tuesday, take a step back from the consumer cliff’s edge, and reconnect with your priorities. Support the non-profit organizations and charities that matter most to you. Yes, there’s been a ton of (deserved) bad press lately about some of the biggies: Salvation Army and Goodwill having strayed from their missions of doing what is best and doing, instead, what is best for them at the expense of others…but don’t let that dissuade or discourage you. Find a smaller organization with their fingers more firmly on the pulse of the communities they wish to serve, and lend your dollars.

If you don’t have dollars, give hours, of volunteer service. Or give both.

Times are tough for people, we know it all too well, and times are tough for charities too. Donations become optional and trimmed out of household budgets, and that is disastrous for foundations trying to make a difference. The end of the year holiday season is when most tax-deductible donations get made…but don’t wait until 11:59pm on December 31 to give…the holiday season is also the time of greatest need for many service organizations that ramp up their projects in an effort to bring some cheer to those in need. Is it a program for the hungry? Animals? Something through your place of worship or employer? (see if they have matching donations and double the good you do) Shelter? Disaster response? Working for peace? Service members? The elderly? Ecological issues? Disease prevention and education? Business and learning opportunities? Mentoring and teaching? Politics? Equality issues? Surely there is something that sparks your passion–something that if the holiday dinner table conversation got going, you could get fired up about sharing.

Get behind your issues on Giving Tuesday, November 27, and give. Then jump into the comments section here on the blog and share who or what you are supporting this year.

Some of us may be searching for inspiration–and this is how we can learn of the great work being done–from each other.

Post on your social media as well–people do want to know what matters, and people do want to discover others are fighting the good fight as well.

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation ( and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project ( Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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