Extending our Thanks: #GivingTuesday
Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that brings people together to reflect on and express their gratitude for the good in their lives. Yesterday I was talking with a gentleman in the grocery store. I don’t know him by name, but he has helped me over the months and years, and when he saw me he went out of his way to say hello. “I’m now on the night shift,” he said, “and I don’t see customers as much anymore.”
When I asked him how he was, he said, “Thankful. With all that’s going on in the world, I have shelter, clothing, food and a good job. That’s more than many.” He then told me how he had made the decision to donate to those less fortunate, and he feels better for it.
Families are as likely as not to take that pause on Thanksgiving to articulate what they are truly thankful for. Our lives can be the richer for having done so. When we do, we often want to extend that to others.
One way to express our gratitude is to give out of our bounty to others. This is our mission at In the Gardens. Sharing food with the hungry, teaching people to grow their own food, providing the skills of mindfulness practice to help us balance and center – these works all come out of a deep gratitude for what the earth provides for us, and for the lessons that the spirit teaches us.
In 2012 a new platform for offering our thanks was founded by the 92nd Street Y in New York City, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The two organizations initiated Giving Tuesday. In five short years it has become a global giving movement involving over 30,000 organizations. We are proud to be included among them. The power of Giving Tuesday is in its mission: to bring real change into the community, particularly in humanitarian causes. Quite simply, we are better together. I have always said that one plus one equals so much more than two.
This year we are combining our participation in Giving Tuesday with a two pronged matching funds program:
- We are arranging with our donors to match $1800 in #GivingTuesday donations, and
- Through your employer’s matching gift program.
When made during the #GivingTuesday season, the first of these opportunities will automatically double your contribution to In the Gardens.
The second will require you to ask your employer whether they have a matching gift program. To check, you can go to DoubletheDonation.org. During the Thanksgiving season, from November 14 – December 12, this website is waiving its usual fee. If your employer will match your donation, you can fill out the paperwork right there on their site.
We thank you for your continued belief in our mission and we ask you to reach out to friends, family and co-workers to encourage new donors to support our work.
We begin our Thanksgiving season a bit early by thanking you – our donors, supporters, students, volunteers, and readers. Thank you for making In the Gardens stronger in achieving its mission every day.
Rabbi Robin Damsky