The Spirit of Giving - #GivingTuesday 2013


At home the presents are wrapped for tonight, the seventh night of Hanukkah. E-mails are flying in and out of assorted inbox with the #Giving Tuesday symbol from the thousands of nonprofits and charities who are celebrating this still new and quite wonderful initiative. Happy #Giving Tuesday! Take advantage!

Even if you’ve blown your wad during Black Friday, Wrecking Ball Weekend or Cyber Monday, today is still a good day to give. Hanukkah’s almost over, but there’s still Christmas.

#Giving Tuesday isn’t about the kinds of gifts you unwrap. Started by the 92nd Street Y in New York, the philanthropic initiative has mobilized thousands of nonprofits and their supporters to push for a national day of charity.

Here’s from the #Giving Tuesday website which, given the volume,  may not be the easiest site to access today:

“Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The second annual GivingTuesday is on December 3, 2013. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, we want the giving community to come together for #GivingTuesday. We ask that partners create and commit to a project for/on #GivingTuesday and then help spread the word to their networks."

Good stuff, right?

Then again, who needs a holiday or a day of recognition?  Every day should be giving day, and I dare anyone out there working for a nonprofit to tell me otherwise.

Kevin Bacon, whose is a Giving Tuesday partner said it best on the Huffington Post, which was reprinted on the #Giving Tuesday website:

“In a perfect world every day would be #GivingTuesday, full of the spirit of generosity and paying it forward…Given recent news headlines, it may not seem like there's much generosity going around, but if you're paying attention, you can spot random acts of kindness all over the place.

From strangers paying for the purchases of the person behind them in line to middle-school football players (aka the cool kids) conspiring to help their learning-disabled classmate score a big touchdown to a retiree giving haircuts to the homeless and only asking for a hug in return, examples of generous deeds are everywhere.”

In the case of JVS, our clients continually need help. Every day. They need training, new skills and the confidence to know that, yes, despite a hugely challenging economy, they can and will find meaningful employment. Through our training and mentoring programs, career counseling and scholarships, that’s what we give them. We are a charity, but around the halls of JVS, we like to say that it's our practice to give our clients a leg up rather than a handout.

Even so, this is the holidays and many of our clients need some basics. We try to help with that, too.

As we speak, JVS' Joyce Cele, who is both our Vera Harris Memorial Fund Manager and Emergency Cash Grant Coordinator is working on a gift card drive. Through targeted donations, we buy and distribute Ralph’s and Target gift cards to some of our neediest clients. With these cards, our clients can buy whatever is most necessary whether it's household items, food or presents which they might not otherwise be able to afford.

If you would like to participate, you can reach Joyce at ( or (323) 761-8888, ext. 8883. The drive ends on Dec. 13.

As a general rule, JVSWorks is not the place where we solicit donations. This being Giving Tuesday, however, it feels appropriate to invite contributions to JVS, to the JVS Holiday Gift Card drive or to simply remind readers to remember your favorite charity or nonprofit today.

JVSWorks wishes everyone a happy and generous #Giving Tuesday.