Frankly, I think Giving Tuesday should PRECEDE the frenzied holiday shopping days - so that in the week of Thanksgiving, when we look around at what we have, and consider those who have not, what we have to give to those truly in need has not been depleted by the things we bought for our loved ones who already have so much.
Below is a list of my favorite local and national causes. I apologize, in advance, if I've missed yours. Send it along and I'll be sure it gets up here. Every single one is worth mentioning.
You'll find that many of the organizations on this list directly impact your family's life in some way. Perhaps your pet is a rescue from Cape Ann Animal Aid or your elderly parent spends time at the Rose Baker Senior Center. And the YMCA, the Gloucester Education Foundation, Cape Ann Art Haven, the Sawyer Free Library and Maritime Gloucester, for example are no doubt some part of every local child's experience. We are lucky to have them.
Many of the other causes I've listed provide for those who aren't fortunate enough or well enough to enjoy these luxuries we too often take for granted. Saint Jude Children's Hospital, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and the Open Door provide care, medicine, housing and food to families that might otherwise go without. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the memory of how quickly a comfortable life can become a life of hunger, homelessness and need is very, very fresh. Even temporary need requires help. Thank goodness help is out there.
The links are all active on my list for easy travel to each organizations' page. It is heart warming to read the testimonials, see the photos and read the annual reports on how many human beings are fortunate enough that these groups exist. But they can't continue their work without funding. That's where you come in....
Please make the most of this opportunity and teach your children a little bit about gratitude and humility by choosing together which of the invaluable causes you might support this year. Let some knowledge of that reality serve as a gentle reminder of truly good fortune when our little angels are disappointed at the one shiny toy that didn't end up under the tree.
Happy Giving Tuesday,
- Open door
- Action - Energy, Shelter, etc
- North Shore YMCA
- Gloucester Education Foundation
- Pride Stride
- Wellspring House
- The North Shore Health Project
- Cape Ann Animal Aid
- Cape Ann Farmer's Market and the Backyard Growers Program
- Cape Ann Fresh Catch
- Cape Ann Art Haven
- Trustees of Reservations
- Cape Ann Community Cinema
- Cape Ann Business Incubator (CABI)
- Cape Ann Museum
- Maritime Gloucester
- Gloucester Stage Company
- Salvation Army
- American Red Cross
- Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital
- Community Servings
- United Way of the North Shore