Tuesday, November 30, 2021 is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s GivingTuesday which is a day to reflect on acts of generosity and to remember that every act of generosity counts. “GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good.” It is great to see so many higher education institutions across the nation celebrating GivingTuesday.

For many years, over Thanksgiving weekend, our family will sit down together and decide which nonprofits we will donate to. How we come to our final decisions is in an interactive process, yet a somewhat unconventional one. The four of us each have one-fourth of our donations to give. We’ve been doing this since the kids were very young, we each get 25 Apples to Apples cards to assign to the nonprofit appeal letters that are put on the dining room table. We have Post-it notes to add worthy nonprofits that we did not receive appeal letters from this year.

This year my family will be donating to the following organizations (with a description of each in their own words) in honor of GivingTuesday:

The American Society for Deaf Children: “The American Society for Deaf Children provides resources, advocacy, and mentoring for every family with a deaf child so they can communicate, connect, and thrive – together.”

The Jed Foundation: “The Jed Foundation (JED) is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, giving them the skills and support they need to thrive today…and tomorrow.”

Poverty Alleviation Charities: “Poverty Alleviation Charities is a nonprofit organization on a mission to use Art as a conduit to transform passive compassion into immediate assistance through the distribution of money given, without expectation or judgment, directly to families suffering poverty.”

Each one of these nonprofits is connected to our family. One of our children was born with congenital hearing loss and finding ways to support the deaf and hard of hearing is very important to us. We all strongly feel that the mental health effects of the pandemic on many students have been significant and need to be addressed at schools and on campuses. Finally, if you want a chance to restore some hope, please check out the Letters to Santa program from Poverty Alleviation Charities (it’s actually the inspiration for this Ted Lasso episode). You can also learn more about their 24 Hour Improv show live from Oakland on December 18 to laugh really, really hard.

I understand that giving is very personal, and can only be done if your means support it, and respect the individual choice to support a charity. Also, there are certainly many other organizations serving our communities that positively impact important parts of your life. I encourage you to not only visit their websites to learn more, but also review the operations of their organization at sites like GuideStar or Charity Navigator before making a donation. Disclaimer: HigherEdJobs encourages free discourse and expression of issues while striving for accurate presentation to our audience. A guest opinion serves as an avenue to address and explore important topics, for authors to impart their expertise to our higher education audience and to challenge readers to consider points of view that could be outside of their comfort zone. The viewpoints, beliefs, or opinions expressed in the above piece are those of the author(s) and don’t imply endorsement by HigherEdJobs.

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