Image via Second Harvest Food Bank
First it starts with Thanksgiving, a celebration of family and food. You know, the things that lots of us are thankful for. Then we have Black Friday, basically undoing all that thankfulness with a strong dose of consumerism.
After both of those bouts of mass consumption, there's Small Business Saturday, which encourages shoppers to buy local (it's one of our favorite of these made-up "holidays," and a newer example). Since many of us do a great deal of shopping online – at work, apparently – the Monday after Thanksgiving has been deemed Cyber Monday for the past few years. And, now, bringing the thanks full circle, we have Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a way for people to give back to the community, be it through charitable giving or donations of time and items. You can also participate in the social media arm of the movement by posting your #unselfie on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Want to know where you can make donations that help locally? Here are some Central Florida organizations worthy of your #GivingTuesday consideration:
- Adult Literacy League of Central Florida encourages people to be part of their story by sending in a selfie that will be turned into the hero of the Adult Literacy League of Central Florida's story. You can see all the transformed selfies here. In addition to the selfie awareness campaign, the organization is also accepting donations to assist in funding adult literacy programs.
- Page 15 is a local organization that aims to get kids excited about reading and writing through free tutoring, creative writing classes and student publishing projects. They are looking for donations to support these programs on Page 15's website, or, if you'd rather donate your time, the nonprofit is also accepting volunteers.
- Give Kids the World set a pretty lofty Giving Tuesday goal: They want to raise over $60,ooo in a 24-hour period. The first $20,000 will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous anonymous donor. Every dollar earned on #GivingTuesday will go directly to fulfill wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
- If you donate to Junior Achievement of Central Florida, a nonprofit geared toward empowering young people to take an active role in ensuring their future financial success, on #GivingTuesday, up to $2,500 will be matched by Veredus Corporation, an Orlando IT company.
- New Hope for Kids is a Maitland nonprofit that helps children and families through the grieving process. Monies donated to the organization on Giving Tuesday will go toward renovations of their new facility. The new space will allow New Hope for Kids to serve more families.
- Second Harvest Food Bank is asking people to take a pledge to donate, hold a food drive, volunteer or share the Second Harvest pledge. Any donations made on Tuesday, Dec. 2, will be matched up to $10,000 by PCL construction.
- You could head over to Power 2 Give, which offers 50 cents for each dollar you donate to a variety of local arts charities, including Leesburg Center for the Arts' mobile art studio and in-school performances by Orlando Ballet.
- Orlando Fringe Festival is asking people to donate toward their annual appeal goal. If you're unable to donate financially, email Volunteer@OrlandoFringe.org to be added to the organization's volunteer list.
- Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando is asking you to make a difference for woman's rights and health in Florida by making a donation.
- The Albin Polasek Museum asks for donations to support every aspect of their facility: the art, gardens, history and education.
- Mad Cow Theatre is asking for the gift of time (volunteer hours) and the gift of treasure (monetary contributions.) If you donate through their Power 2 Give link, Bank of America will donate 50 cents for each dollar you donate.
- Up to $5000 of all the donations made to Orlando Reparatory Theatre today will be matched by KPMG and the theatre's board of directors.
- The Holocaust Memorial and Resource Center is asking for donations to support its Holocaust education and bullying programs.
There are also a couple of local Cyber Monday deals you can get in on that would serve as Giving Tuesday one day early:
- Orlando Ballet is offering 25 percent off select seats using the code "cyber."
- Burrow Press is offering a free book with every subscription purchased. You'll get each of the local nonprofit publisher's 2015 titles signed and shipped to you before the books' official release dates, plus whichever book from their current catalog your little heart desires.
Know of any other local charities participating in Giving Tuesday? Let us know in the comments.