Tuesday, November 29, 2022

GivingTuesday is a personal favorite of mine. On the heels of Thanksgiving and two days of shopping, GivingTuesday shifts our focus to generosity and showing up for issues near and dear to us. Founded in 2012, this one-day giving event inspires millions of people to give back, lend a hand, and spread kindness.

Colleges and universities are both the recipients and sources of much of this generosity. At HigherEdJobs, we, too, take seriously the call to help others in need. We’ll be making a year-end donation to one of these deserving professional associations selected by our customers: Student Veterans of America, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, or the National Historically Black Colleges & Universities Alumni Associations Foundation.

On the personal side, though, one of my favorite traditions is sitting down with my family to select the non-profit organizations that we want to support on GivingTuesday. This year, some of the nonprofits we will be donating to are:

  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which “is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.”
  • BandWith, a “Chicago-based non-profit organization whose mission is to provide lasting access to high quality performing arts instruction to underserved Chicago communities.”
  • Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery-based non-profit “committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”

Each of these organizations is uniquely significant to my family. Seven years ago, my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. We are fortunate he is still with us at 85 years old and are grateful for all the work that the Michael J. Fox Foundation does to improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients like him. I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering for BandWith this year, and it’s brought to my attention how an organization can bring joy and opportunity to children of a community. This past summer, I visited Selma and Montgomery and immersed myself in the history of Bloody Sunday and the lesser-known but real struggles for equality in the South. It was a humbling experience, and the Equal Justice Initiative is working to confront this history of racial injustice.

I hope you, too, have selected some charities you will support today that you feel make a difference in the lives of others. As the GivingTuesday website reads, “Everyone has something to give, and every act of generosity counts.” Our unique situations may dictate how much we give, but showing up for the organizations and causes that matter to you is what counts.

P.S. If you don’t have a charity in mind or have just one more mission you can support, I highly recommend checking out your local food bank. Hunger doesn’t discriminate. Many working families face food insecurity due to competing expenses and the real toll inflation is taking. Remember, financial donations allow more flexibility for food banks and ensure families have access to fresh foods. Happy giving!

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