Sunday, November 27, 2022

#GivingTuesday 2022: What is it and why do we give?


Giving Tuesday is just a day away. My heart seems to grow six times its size when I see many of our families hosting Facebook fundraisers and sharing a bit about why they donate to Children's Craniofacial Association. And who am I kidding, I also love reading reflections by people hosting Facebook funders for other nonprofits that positively impacted their lives. This tradition that began in 2012 galvanized many to give consistently to nonprofits and NGOs around the world each year. 

The effort began at New York City's  92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact. In just 10 years, #GivingTuesday became, "an independent nonprofit and a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity." Their focus for the next 10 years is on radical generosity, hoping we can snuff out suffering through a movement of giving freely to support our communities. 

Ten years ago, when I first read about #GivingTuesday while on the board of another nonprofit, I thought, "Well great! Three days of sin followed by a single day of atonement. One day to support the work we do all year long?" This didn't seem fair in my Catholic mind. It wasn't enough. As the years wore on more and more nonprofits joined the campaign of giving, and what it lacked in the number of days devoted to the cause, GivingTuesday gained with an increase in participation by a rising tide of nonprofits. 

In the world of fundraising high participation is everything. What makes people participate?  Yes, I think offsetting the holiday splurging on our loved ones, and let's face it, ourselves (the deals are just too good!). But it's more... Giving Tuesday is about honoring the impact that these nonprofits have on our lives. An organization like CCA Kids, can take a family or individual from the depths of despair back to a state of hope, wonder, and possibility. Life-giving, life-returning, life-altering narratives flow throughout our community each told by a grateful heart. 

  • A trip to a medical center that will help solve the riddles of a medically complex child. 
  • A care package sent after the mid-face surgery (the big one for many of our kids). 
  • A virtual program that helped support someone's mental health during a particularly difficult time. 
  • Or perhaps, a scholarship to our Annual Retreat for a family to be in community with people with shared life experiences

Hope takes many different forms. It's easy to see why so many feel hope is in the realm of the divine. 

Reading about these powerful experiences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on other social media platforms is heartening as we all take stock of the year that was 2022. For the staff, board members, volunteers, all charged with carrying forward CCA's mission, we recognize through your photos and stories that we have done our jobs. For members of the CCA Kids community, we cheer each other on and honor one another by starting a Facebook fundraiser, hosting an event, or putting out a jar at our place of work to accept small donations to make sure the hand of CCA is there for the next person in need. For we know all too well that the next person in need could be us or someone we care deeply for in our tight-knit community. 

Do what you can with what you have available to you. As people with facial differences, we improvise in our daily lives with that adage in mind. Don't feel obligated to donate a lump sum of money. Instead, let's keep spreading the word about #GivingTuesday. Even after 10 years of service to a world of nonprofits, someone you know and love may not know about this day to give back to those whom keep us whole and filled with hope. 

Donate today to our community Facebook fundraiser or start your own on Facebook. All donations are processed with no additional fees. All profits go to Children's Craniofacial Association. 

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