Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Tuesday Can Happen Anytime

Now that we’ve survived Black Friday and supported local businesses with Small Business Saturday, it is time to look at the really big picture and make sure that giving remains a major part of the holiday season. Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has celebrated the importance of generosity and giving back.

Giving Tuesday was conceived in cooperation with the New York’s 92 Street Young Men and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (92Y), the United Nations Foundation and a team of founding partners that understood the importance of fostering kindness.

The concept is simple. We have numerous days for getting, now we have a international day for giving. If you are sitting at your computer or visiting a favorite Adirondack location, please take a moment and search for a way that is important to you to give back.

Give food: Community Food Pantries are always looking for donations, especially during the winter months. There are usually drop boxes at area grocery stores for just this purpose. It is simple to add an extra non-perishable item to the cart while picking up items for the holiday meals.

We always feel that it is important to have our children be part of the process. The best way for kids to learn that giving is vital is to make it tangible. For a child to choose a canned food that will feed a family will may help make local poverty and hunger more of a reality.

Give time: Walking a dog, petting a cat or bringing food to a local animal shelter will help a child understand that not every animal has a home. Most animal shelters, such as the North Country SPCA, have a wish list of needed items from pet brushes to kitty litter.

Give a gift: My family always participate in the Lake Placid’s Palace Theatre Elfing Tree, in cooperation with the Town of North Elba Christmas Fund. While enjoying a film in their recently converted digital theatre, just pick a “wish” tag off of the tree, fulfill the wish, wrap the gift, attach the tag on the package and return it to the Palace Theatre by Sunday, December 14th. There is also Toys for Tots that services Albany, Columbia, Essex, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Washington and Warren counties.

Give money: Adirondack Gives still has campaigns that have not reached their fundraising goals for the 2014 year. Some of these activities are asking for a modest amount of money compared to the operating costs of larger nonprofits. The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Art is wishing for one wireless mike or help Ticonderoga feed children in need when other resources are unavailable, weekends.

The Wild Center continues to fund school programs through the Adirondack Youth Climate Program. If they can reach their goal by December 31st, Casella Waste Management will match the funds to be used to support Wild Center-Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) Assemblies in schools. If that doesn’t interest you what about an ice track on Mirror Lake or First Night Fireworks? These are just a few organizations looking to provide for Adirondack communities.

Healthcare organization, such as the Saranac Lake Voluntary Health Association, provide free dental care, visiting nurses services and equipment loans to area residents. North Country Life Fight Air Medical Rescue Team provides critical care, according to their website, from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario and the Canadian border to south of the Adirondack Park. Though most people may feel they will never use the service, it is available for those unsuspecting moments like an injured hiker or severe accident.

Adirondack Arts Organizations continue to provide free concerts, art walks and community gatherings and require  a little help to continue to enrich locals and visitors with creative events.

Conservation nonprofits such as the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy provide educational  opportunities for youth. There are even ways to designate how the gift will be used. Perhaps eaglet conservation is your passion or to provide instruction for “Leave No Trace” philosophy.

There is never just one way to give.   For Adirondack specific giving the ideas above hardly scratch the surface. Any not-for-profit in the Adirondack Park would be grateful for any gifts. Happy Giving Day!

The #GivingTuesday logo is used in conjunction with the Giving Tuesday organization. 

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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