Today, we celebrate the second annual #GivingTuesday,
a day that is set aside for us all to come together and reach beyond ourselves: to reach out into our communities and shift our focus from “me” to “we.” This concept was started by a group of nonprofits in New York and very quickly spread across the United States. After a weekend dominated by the retail industry, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is now what we know as #GivingTuesday.
So, what does this mean for us? How does #GivingTuesday impact our lives? The goal of this day is to kick off the spirit of giving this holiday season. In the month of December, more charitable gifts are given than in any other month of the year. Of course, there are several reasons for this generosity, but most of all, I believe, it is because we all have a need to give and to help others. After all, in the words of author Ben Sweetland, “We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own.”
One great example of this is when OASIS tutor Lou Cohen’s
children wanted to honor their father for his commitment to being an OASIS tutor for almost a decade. Lou’s children, Emily and Andy saw their father’s love for the program and the children that he tutors each week and for his 80th birthday, they established The OASIS Tutoring Fund in honor of Lou Cohen. Emily and Andy were delighted to be able to give this gift to honor their father and he, in turn, was delighted to see their support of a program he so dearly loves.
“We know how strongly Dad feels about his tutoring,” said Emily. “He talks about it all the time and takes it very seriously. If there’s ever a conflict in his schedule, he always chooses tutoring over something else. “There are so many other tutors out there who are just as committed,” she added. “Our hope is that their families and friends may see this fund as an opportunity to honor them in a similar way.”
That’s what #GivingTuesday is all about. It’s about extending a light to someone else and benefiting from that same light in return. Giving makes us feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves and that no matter how big or small our gift may be, we are making a difference in our community.
Want to support OASIS on #Giving Tuesday (or anytime)? Click here
Jennifer Newcom is the National Development Manager for the OASIS Institute. She has worked in the Development field for over 12 years in a variety of roles including major giving, annual fund and e-philanthropy. She comes to the OASIS Institute most recently from Regent University where she served as a major gift officer.