Ease Your Guilt With Giving Tuesday

After a long weekend of indulgence, from oceans of gravy to possibly getting pushy with fellow shoppers to spending a lot of money online to take advantage of limited time deals, it’s time to feel good about yourself. Forget the excesses for one day and participate in Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is what happened when charitable organizations got smart and began encouraging people that holidays are a perfect time to not lose sight of the many fabulous organizations out there doing great work in need of help. Best of all, charitable gifts are regifted. You can give to an organization in a loved one’s name, and you can both feel good about it. Instead of a pile of dollar store garbage or clothes clearly selected by someone 30+ years older than you, it would be much nicer to get a gift that helps others.

We’ve given holiday gifts to Kiva and Heifer International before, both of which I think are really fun gifts. Kiva puts the amount you donated into an account for the gift recipient, allowing them to pick the person or project to which they’d like to loan the money. The money gets repaid eventually, and can be used again and again. One person we gifted a Kiva loan didn’t know how to handle it and ignored it for months. This is when Kiva jumped in and emailed me, allowing me to make the loan. I did, it was eventually repaid, and reloaned. While I was sad this person didn’t use it, it was better than the cookies or pin I would have gotten her instead. Either way, the gift was going to be discarded, but with a charitable gift, someone in need benefited from it.

Heifer is fun because you can give the gift of animals. You can gift chickens, a flock of ducks ($20), a llama ($20-150), a water buffalo, honeybees, or more to rural families around the world (even the U.S.) who will use the animals for eggs, mik, farm help, etc. Non-living gifts exist too, including irrigation pumps, knitters gift baskets, and more.

Both Kiva and Heifer have pictures, stories, and explanations to back up the gifts, which makes them feel real, and worthy. Not like contributing to George Costanza’s Human Fund.

Take a minute today to make yourself feel better by giving. Donate for a gift, donate for yourself, or donate for the tax deduction, just give to a charity or cause you care about. Hey KQED, today is the day I respond to those pledge renewal requests.

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