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Bikes Not Bombs in Gear with Giving Tuesday

GRAPHIC: Black Friday, the kickoff of holiday shopping, is encroaching on Thanksgiving this year, with major retailers starting their sales on Thursday. One antidote to galloping consumerism is Giving Tuesday.
GRAPHIC: Black Friday, the kickoff of holiday shopping, is encroaching on Thanksgiving this year, with major retailers starting their sales on Thursday. One antidote to galloping consumerism is Giving Tuesday.


December 2, 2013

JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. - Black Friday started on Thursday this year, with major retailers moving up their holiday sales kickoffs to Thanksgiving Day. In response, last year the "Hashtag Giving Tuesday" movement sprang up, aimed at making the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday a day of giving. Bikes Not Bombs is one of what's grown to more than 5,000 partners in Giving Tuesday, which seems to be losing the "hashtag" prefix that helped it explode on social media 12 months ago.

The Jamaica Plain group's Sarah Braker was dismayed to see the big retailers opening on the holiday.

"The idea that Black Friday has turned into Black Thursday, and that people are being asked to work on a time when a lot of people get the day off ... I think that's pretty sad."

Retailers rely on the period between Black Friday and Christmas for a major portion of their annual sales. Giving Tuesday promotes a pause to consider sharing over shopping.

Henry Timms at New York's 92nd Street Y is credited with coming up with Giving Tuesday, and said he wanted the season to focus on something other than strictly business.

"Every year, we hear a lot of people complaining about, they think things are too consumer-focused," Timms said. "What we hope is that Giving Tuesday gives them a chance to really put that complaint to good use and think, 'How can I give something back?'"

Sarah Braker of Bikes Not Bombs said she hopes her group's involvement in Giving Tuesday will spur donations and awareness.

"Obviously, if it can help us in any way meet our year-end fund-raising goals, that's great," she stated. "But I think in general, participating in any kind of viral social media marketing opportunity means that new people are going to find out about you."

Henry Timms said this year Giving Tuesday is putting a spin on the fad of taking "selfies," photos of themselves that people share on social media. He calls it the "UNselfie."

"The UNselfie takes that idea and says, 'Actually, share a picture of something more important. Share a picture of you doing something useful for others. Share a picture of a cause that matters deeply to you. Do something unselfish around Giving Tuesday.'"




Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - MA