On May 5, the organization GivingTuesday will launch a day of generosity known as #GivingTuesdayNow.
The campaign is aimed at gathering donations and engagement to support nonprofits and communities worldwide due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Military families have their own movement called GivingTuesday Military. Last year, GivingTuesday Military set a goal of 1 MILLION acts of kindness on December 3 by the military community.
Now, it’s time to step up again.
If you’re interested in participating, we’ve rounded up ideas of how you can give back in this time of need —— to the military community and your local community. While we may be separated by social distancing, we’re in this together.
As May 5 approaches, we hope you’ll consider ways to create joy and generosity within the military community. Here’s a little inspiration to get you going:
What is GivingTuesday?
GivingTuesday started in 2012 as an idea to encourage individuals to do good in their communities. Since its inception, it has grown into a global movement that inspired millions to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity in all forms.
While the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is generally dubbed “GivingTuesday” globally, the movement encourages good deeds daily. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, there’s an emergency response that’s needed right now — financially, socially, economically, and emotionally in communities everywhere.
Because of the current need, #GivingTuesdayNow is scheduled for May 5. It’s a global day of giving and unity that’s a branch off of the original GivingTuesday event.
“The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world. It’s a day when we can all come together and give back in all ways, no matter who or where we are,” according to GivingTuesday.org.
It’s a way to unite the world for the common good of strengthening local communities and helping nonprofits globally.
How to Help Your Community During #GivingTuesdayNow
Wherever you are in the world, you can respond with kindness, generosity, and grace to those in your community. Whether it’s your time, talents, or money, you can show support for others no matter how disconnected the world may feel right now.
Together or apart, you can find ways to give back to your community through:
- Offering kindness
- Donating time or money
- Showing appreciation
- Supporting small businesses
- Responding to local needs
Ways to Give Back in Your Military Community
The military community is a tight-knit one. While you’ll find generosity in so many forms on a regular basis in most military communities, now is a time to continue that trend. Lifting spirits, keeping each other safe, and encouraging one another is what we do best.
Here’s how you can continue that spirit during #GivingTuesdayNow:
Make in-regulation uniform masks – While the DoD is issuing 39 million N95 respirator masks over the next 90 days, it’s still not enough to cover the entire active duty population. If you’re into sewing, consider making in-regulation face masks for your service member and others in the unit. Look at the CDC’s recommendations for DIY masks.
Join the #GTMNow movement – The military has its own Giving Tuesday Military branch, too. The organization is calling on the military community to spread kindness and spread love while social distancing throughout their local communities. Consider donating a gift of money or time in the name of GivingTuesday Military.
Send letters to service members – More than ever, our service members need positive letters to lift morale. Even if you don’t want to head to the post office, you can send letters via our Sandboxx app to tap off a letter with ease.
Offer a discount to the military community – Have a product or service-based business? Provide a discount to service members and their families. It’s a way to give back to your military community in a small — but much appreciated — way.
Coach a milspouse for free – If you have a coaching business or other service-based business that could help another milspouse, consider offering your service for free. This could be for a one-on-one consultation or for a set number of individuals you’d like to give your service to free of charge. In return, you can see if they’d offer a testimonial if they found value in your offering — a win-win for both parties!
Create a Facebook page for milspouses – If your area doesn’t have a positive milspouse group, consider creating one. As social beings, it’s important to stay connected and lift one another up — especially in the military community. Keep it active and fun by asking daily icebreaker questions to get individuals to introduce themselves!
Write thank you cards – Send your service member in with a stack of handwritten thank you cards from your family to distribute to other service members.
Send video messages to local VA homes – Many healthcare facilities are closed to visitors. Some centers like VA nursing homes and VA hospitals depend on the dedication from volunteers to lift the spirits of vets. Call your local VA to see if they can accept video messages to play for their residents.
Donate a meal to a military family in need – Know of a family struggling to make ends meet due to layoffs and a large family to feed? If you love to cook, make a meal for them. Or send them a gift card to a home delivery food service.
Consider donating to military emergency funds – Some military families are being hit quite hard by this pandemic. If you have the extra means, consider donating to relief societies specifically for military families in need of financial help.
Ways to Give Back in Your Local Community
Outside of your military community, consider investigating how you can help others through this tricky time. Checking-in on your neighbors, supporting local businesses, and starting online social clubs are just a few ways to show up with kindness during #GivingTuesdayNow while social distancing.
Here’s how to help during #GivingTuesdayNow:
Offer messages of hope – Whether you send messages on social media or via email to your favorite local businesses, organizations, or healthcare centers, your words of support mean the world. You can also put artwork in your window or write out positive messages in your driveway, too, to encourage others.
Drop off bags of chalk to local kids – Neighborhood kids need an outlet after they’ve been cooped up inside all day doing virtual learning. Consider dropping off bags of chalk on the front steps of households you know have kids.
Support vulnerable organizations – Local food banks need help more than ever right now. If you have the means to support local charities like churches, soup kitchens, or food pantries, consider donating your time, services, or funds.
Show up for local businesses – Consider purchasing take-out from local restaurants you miss dining in at. You can also buy gift cards now for use later when you can patronize your favorite local shops again. Buy online when you can.
Leave your favorite local business a review – Good reviews are everything for businesses — especially local ones. Take a few minutes to write a review or two for your favorite local area businesses. Share your review on social media to spread the word, too.
Start a quarantine club online – Consider starting a social community online for others who are in quarantine, too. See why this extrovert Army wife stationed in Italy started hers.
Pass along board games – Consider donating any board or card games you no longer use to families in your neighborhood. Leave them out on the curb with a note that they’re free to take and a friendly reminder to sanitize the items.
Send video messages to local nursing homes – Nursing home residents don’t always get a ton of visitors, but with COVID-19 restrictions, now they don’t get any. Create a video message for seniors to enjoy. You can contact your local ones to see what formats they can support for residents.
Donate blood – If you’re not one to faint over blood, consider donating at your local blood bank. You can check out your closest blood bank’s hours of operation and schedule an appointment here.
Support healthcare workers – Donate supplies, send notes of encouragement, advocate for them, and stay home.
Ignite #GivingTuesdayNow in Your Military Community
No matter how big or small your act of generosity, every single one counts.
#GivingTuesdayNow is your chance to give back to your community — whether it’s your military community or your further-reaching local area.
You may never know how your act of kindness can lift somebody up. It may be small to you, but it may mean the world to them. Do keep in mind social distancing and CDC health recommendations however you do decide to give back to your community.
While the pandemic may be testing all of our patience and strength, we’re all in it together. Finding the bright side and doing for others is one way to lift your spirits and the spirits of others.
Everyone can come together during this time through generosity. The military is already a tight-knit community. Let’s make it a bit tighter through kindness and giving.
We’d love to hear how you plan to participate in Giving Tuesday Now this May. Tag us on social media with your creative ideas and photos to inspire a new wave of #GivingTuesdayNow through your military community.
Feature image courtesy of Unsplash