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National Day of Giving takes place on Tuesday directly after American Thanksgiving, which in turn takes place on the 4th Thursday of November. National Day of Giving was created to help the “giving season” get started, reminding people that there is more to holidays than consumerism and commercialization.

History of National Day of Giving

National Day of Giving was created when two organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012, about a month before that year’s Thanksgiving. Their intention was to set aside a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving, a great American tradition.

Many thought leaders in the areas of social media, philanthropy and grassroots quickly joined in, and together they created a group of founding partners including United Nations Foundation, Cisco, Mashable, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Sony, Aldo, Groupon, UNICEF, Google, Skype, Microsoft and Unilever. The first announcement about National Day of Giving was made through Mashable, a technology website. The first National Day of Giving was covered extensively by the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, ABC News, Deseret News, and the White House official blog, causing the scheme to gain an enormous amount of popularity in a short period of time.

National Day of Giving is organized and celebrated each year with the simple aim of encouraging individuals, families, schools, businesses, and other organizations to give to the less fortunate. A year later, in 2013, even more organizations joined in, including eBay (which gives a percentage of all its sales proceeds from a week in December to National Day of Giving) and fashion designer Kevin Cole, who both designed and promoted awareness ID bracelets, giving 100% of the proceeds to National Day of Giving.

National Day of Giving has been praised by many, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper that covers the nonprofit world, as an antidote to consumer culture and a way for people to give back.

How to Celebrate National Day of Giving

There is no shortage of ways in which this can be done. In recent years ideas have included organizing fundraisers, with the intention of giving the proceeds to a charity. As there are many ways to give in order to help others, and many things that can be given besides just money, there have been numerous other schemes.

Among these are blood drives to give some assistance to local hospitals, volunteer fairs at which individuals can pledge to give time to community projects, and families giving food from their home to local pantries. The hashtag #GivingTuesday was also created to raise awareness about the needy and encourage people to give to charities.

If you like, you can join National Day of Giving’s team of Social Media Ambassadors, who are dedicated to spreading the word about #GivingTuesday and taking collaborative action to give back. At the end of the day, the truth is that there are thousands of charity organization the world over, many of which are likely located somewhere near you.

Every single one of them could use your help, so find a cause that is especially important to you personally, whether it’s fighting a certain type of cancer, helping to buy schoolbooks for children from very poor families, or helping the animals at your local animal shelter, and take action! However you choose to celebrate the day, you can then share your story with National Day of Giving’s official website to spread the word to the entire world.

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