It's the beginning of the holiday season! Not because it's December but because today is Giving Tuesday! After you stuff yourself happy with yummy food in the company of loved ones, you battle the crowds to get the best deals before the holidays then you sit at your computer and nab all those great discounts online. What then? What's left? For me, it's the true spirit of the season. Giving. I love to give. Big, small, time, money, heartfelt things. The thing about giving for me is knowing that I am making a difference in someone's life. It's my gift to myself. And it's my gift to the Frog Princess who I hope will pick up my spirit of giving and continue the tradition of giving as she grows up. Today is a day dedicated to giving back.
Charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students from around the world will come together with one purpose in mind: to celebrate generosity and to give.
The beauty is that you give to whatever cause YOU are close to. Whatever it is that you feel called to give to. There are no restrictions!
If you don't know where to start, Global Moms Challenge has a great gift guide sharing some awesome gifts that you can purchase that will continue to give back even after the present is unwrapped. And there's nothing better than that.
Don't have a favorite charity? Not sure who to give to? Head on over to Giving Tuesday and read through all of the partners that have joined in and need your help.
Here's a quick rundown of some organizations that you should consider giving to today.
The Center for Contemporary Dance: As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, each year The Center for Contemporary Dance reaches thousands of people of all ages, races and economic backgrounds through breathtaking productions, innovative dance-education programs and active community outreach.
I have the great privilege of having been on the same stage as Dario Moore, creative director of CCD. He is passionate about bringing dance to kids that otherwise might not be exposed to it. Personally, this speaks to me because I was that kid at one point in time until a teacher wanted to expose me to something greater and it's how I ended up dancing at Harlem School of the Arts.
Ivy Tea Rose, Inc.: Ivy Tea Rose, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the promotion of education, health and social development of children and families in North Orange and South Seminole Counties and surrounding communities.
Ivy Tea Rose is the non-profit arm of Nu Iota Omega, a graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. I am a member of that chapter and know that the work that we do by serving our community and providing scholarships annually makes a difference.
MomsRising.org: an on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all moms, women, and families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, earned sick days, affordable childcare, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes so many mothers. MomsRising also advocates for better childhood nutrition, health care for all, toxic-free environments, breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start, and a national budget that reflects the contributions of women and moms.
You know this is near and dear to me as I'm completing a fellowship that has changed my life, trajectory and perspective not just on the things that are not working in this country but on the power that we have as individuals to change things for the better. I hope you can support the work with a donation.
Shot@Life: Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. A national call to action for a global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together, we can save a childâ€™s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines. By encouraging Americans to learn about, advocate for, and donate to vaccines, Shot@Life aims to decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give every child a shot at a healthy life.
Having been a Social Good Ambassador during Blogust last year and attending the summit this past spring made me exponentially passionate about this cause. Especially because of my family's story about losing my brother to a vaccine preventable disease.
If you donate to Shot@Life today, all donations will be matched!
Now that I've told you what it is, who will you give to and how will you give?! Tell me on your social channels. Download the #UNselfie template, write down your reason to give or who you will be giving to today. I'd love to kick this season of giving in a great big way with all of you.
Update (12:30 p.m.):
I would be remissed if I didn't include The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation on this list as this is the type of cancer my Mami was diagnosed with. Throughout the day, your donations will be matched to this organization working hard to support those living with the disease and to continue the research of this type of cancer. Donate here and donate today.