✔ Giving Tuesday Now is a global day of action taking place on May 5 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
✔ You can help – even if you can’t donate money, you can offer your time and support
✔ If you are struggling during this time yourself, reaching out to connect with others may actually make you feel better, too
You’ve heard it many times now since the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives – “we are in this together.”
And it’s true. Frontline healthcare workers are providing crucial services to help the sick, and employees in essential services are keeping all of us supplied with what we need to keep going. The rest of us aren’t sitting on the sidelines either – by staying in place and practising social distancing, all Canadians are united in flattening the curve and preventing a worse spread of the coronavirus.
Giving Tuesday is a yearly event that usually takes place after Black Friday in the late fall. This year, because of COVID-19, there’s another similar initiative called #GivingTuesdayNow. It’s an emergency response to today’s global time of need. Its main purpose is to rally people around the world to tap into the power of human connection and strengthen communities at the grassroots level.
Many partners are involved in this day of action, from corporations and non-profits to individuals. They are co-ordinating their efforts to provide funds for research and crucial medical supplies, to help businesses stay afloat, and to reach out to those who are hungry or lonely such as seniors or veterans.
As we continue to adjust to living in our new normal, small charitable acts can lift your spirits and help you feel more connected. Research has shown that volunteering or helping others can boost people’s wellbeing and help ease depression. And there’s even neurological evidence that suggests an actual link between generosity and happiness in the brain. Giving back—which doesn’t have to mean a cash donation— actually stimulates parts of our brain that make us feel better.
There are lots of ways you can get involved in #GivingTuesdayNow. This day of action has six categories of ideas of how you can help, and some only need your time and concern, not money:
- THANK: Clap for your health-care workers and essential workers such as delivery drivers and grocery store workers. You can post thank yous on social media or put a sign up on your door showing your support and appreciation.
- VOLUNTEER: You can practise social distancing and still volunteer – from your home! You can add your voice to raise awareness or take time to call a senior or friend who might be alone.
- SUPPORT: Buy your essential supplies from small businesses who need you and celebrate those in the community who are giving back.
- SHOW KINDNESS: Offer to buy groceries for a neighbour or someone in self-isolation, call a friend just to see how they are, post positive messages to your social media contacts. Our strength is in our humanity and empathy.
- RESPOND: Many people are finding creative ways to help with the effort – such as delivering groceries, donating food to shelters, giving blood, sewing masks or making other supplies. Look at the talents you have and see what you can do to respond to the need.
- GIVE: You can donate money, goods, personal protective equipment. Donations don’t have to be large – every little bit helps.
Even the smallest of actions can make a difference when the actions of many are united. We will all weather this crisis better if we face it together. And, the bonus is that doing good is actually good for you! Doing whatever you can to help during this pandemic – on Giving Tuesday Now or any other day – is a win-win, for all of us.