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Michiganders Encouraged to Start a New Holiday Tradition with "Giving Tuesday"

PHOTO: Hundreds of Michigan charities will take part in #GivingTuesday, a day that encourages community service and donations to nonprofit organizations to kick off the holiday season. Image courtesy of www.givingtuesday.org.
PHOTO: Hundreds of Michigan charities will take part in #GivingTuesday, a day that encourages community service and donations to nonprofit organizations to kick off the holiday season. Image courtesy of www.givingtuesday.org.
December 2, 2013

DETROIT - First came two days devoted to getting deals: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Then came shopping on Thanksgiving Day itself, but now charitable organizations across the state hope Michiganders will consider celebrating a day for giving back. Tomorrow marks the second annual Giving Tuesday, a national day of philanthropy and community service.

Scott Trudell, director of annual giving for the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, said he hopes the day will give pause from the consumerism that tends to dominate this time of year.

They are "just trying to encourage others to think about how they make their gifts - you know, there is still kind of a reason for the season - and to think philanthropically about their giving," he said.

Last year more than 2500 organizations in all 50 states participated in Giving Tuesday, with the number expected to be more than 8,000 this year. A list of participating charities is online at "GivingTuesday.org" and on social media using "hashtag-Giving-Tuesday."

Trudell remarked that an event like this, which went viral in its first year and has been largely driven by social media, is a powerful way to connect with today's donors in what's been dubbed "virtual volunteerism."

"Gone are the days when they open up a checkbook, they write a check to their favorite charity, and then they wait 11 months to do it again," he declared. "They're looking for different ways to either get themselves involved or get their friends and family involved."

Giving Tuesday participants are also encouraged to post photos of acts of kindness and use the hashtag "unselfie," in a reaction to the self-portraits that have dominated social media in recent years.

More information is at
GivingTuesday.org.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI