Here’s everything you need to know about Giving Tuesday and how you can get involved in making a difference.
Following the frenzy of (over-)consumption over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today is all about giving back. Giving Tuesday is a day to make a world of difference by donating money, time or support to a good cause. Running in over 70 countries around the world, including the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Australia and Brazil, Giving Tuesday encourages everyone to make a gesture, no matter how big or small, on this day of activism and kindness.
Over the past seven years, #GivingTuesday has become one of the biggest days of the year for charities, raising millions of pounds for a huge number of different causes. And it’s not too late to get involved this year – here are some ideas for how you can:
1. Go Christmas Shopping for a Good Cause
If you’re heading out Christmas shopping today, consider buying a present that also donates profits towards a worthy cause. From organic cotton charity t-shirts, to biodegradable glitter and phone cases that contribute towards protecting marine wildlife, there are plenty of ways that you can give back through your purchase choices this Christmas. See our gifts that give back guide for inspiration.
2. Head to your local charity shop for Christmas partywear
Party season is upon us, but rather than buying something brand new to wear for the season’s festivities, head to your local charity shop this Giving Tuesday to find an outfit that will not only help to combat the pollution and waste generated by the fast fashion industry, but will also provide money for a charitable cause.
Even better, when you head to the shops take something old along with you to donate for a double whammy of giving. And then come New Year, return your purchase to the same charity shop you bought it from so that it can continue to support the charity’s work – see it as clothing rental with a conscience.
3. Organise a Chai Day
Help The Circle to end gender-based violence by hosting a Chai Day over the next fortnight. Chai Day is about gathering family, friends or colleagues together to raise awareness about violence against women and to raise money to support survivors of gender-based violence.
All the funds raised through Chai Day will support survivors and contribute towards ending gender-based violence through four projects: aiding survivor support centres in Odisha and Chhattisgarh in India, the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre in South Africa, the End Violence Against Women Coalition and the Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis.
To get involved, download your Chai Day pack, bake some cakes, and get together with friends or colleagues over a cup of chai (or alternative hot beverage of your choice).
4. Support a local community project, campaign or charity
For Giving Tuesday, find a local community project that needs your support. At Eco-Age HQ, we’re supporting a local campaign that is close to our hearts – Chiswick Oasis. Parents of students of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School have set up St Mary’s air pollution group after the Chiswick-based primary school was identified as one of the most polluted schools in the whole of Greater London. The busy A4 dual carriageway and its estimated flow of 100,000 vehicles a day runs adjacent to its school perimeter and is causing air pollution levels that are both illegal and harmful to health.
Across the UK, 37 out of 43 zones still have illegal levels of air pollution, while a survey conducted by the London Mayor’s office identified over 50 schools in Greater London affected by poor quality of air.
St Mary’s air pollution group are raising funds to redevelop and revive an area of playground into a new community green space with a beautiful natural living wall running adjacent to the A4 that will positively impact the air quality around the school and vicinity. It will also provide a green space for local community events and markets.
If you’re in London, take a look at The Mayor’s Crowdfunding Pilot in partnership with Spacehive, which provides a platform for local groups to propose and crowdfund projects that improve their neighbourhood for the benefit of the wider community, with direct support and pledges from the Mayor: spacehive.com/movement/mayoroflondon/projects
5. Donate money
Spare what you can and donate to an environmental or social charitable cause of your choice this Giving Tuesday. If you have the means, sign up to regular contributions to help support the work of charities all year round.
One charity looking for support is Survival International, which is standing alongside indigenous peoples across Brazil following Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential election win last month. Bolsonaro’s election has caused great concern amongst conservation and environmental groups due to his disregard for the Amazon and the indigenous tribes that live there. He has previously said that it’s a shame Brazil’s tribes weren’t wiped out years ago, vowed to open up their territories to loggers and miners and has declared they won’t get “one millimetre” more land protected, even though many are landless.
Donating money to Survival International will enable them to raise vital funds to investigate and expose loggers, miners and ranchers who invade tribal lands, bring global media attention to atrocities against Brazil’s indigenous peoples , and lead well-planned activist campaigns to stop those emboldened by Bolsonaro’s racism in their tracks. When Survival was founded 50 years ago, some people predicted that Brazil’s tribal peoples would be wiped out by the year 2000, but although their courage and resilience has ensured their survival, they have never faced a threat like this.
“We’ve been resisting the theft of our lands for more than 500 years, and we will be on this land long after Jair Bolsonaro has left office. We will fight to our last breath to protect it,” indigenous friends told the charity.
6. Help Refugees
Head to the Choose Love shop and shop to your heart’s content but leave empty handed. Everything you buy will provide vital supplies for refugees in desperate need of warm clothing and basic items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes.
7. Volunteer your time
Giving Tuesday isn’t just about giving money – you can also give your time. Sign up to volunteer at your local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, animal shelter, or provide company and conversation for elderly people this winter.
A few places to find volunteering opportunities:
8. Watch The Price of Free and help end child slavery
The Youtube Originals documentary follows Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and his team of activists around the world on a journey to liberate every child from slavery. Today, on Giving Tuesday, watch this at times harrowing and impactful film, share it to spread awareness about the problem and join the movement to end child slavery by donating any amount to this fundraiser (or directly on their Youtube page) in support of Kailash and his team.
Read more about The Price of Free.