United Way

Why Every Day is #GivingTuesday

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by Ken Toll

Back in 2012, New York City’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation had an idea: What if, in the wake of big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there was a day set aside to focus on giving back to our communities?

And thus Giving Tuesday was born.

I support the idea for the most part. Modern life is so busy, so complex, with so many daily challenges, that there’s value in having a day where we’re called to stop and think of others.

But I also think of Giving Tuesday—or #GivingTuesday if you’re on social media—as the beginning of a charitable mindset. It’s a simple first step in the journey of creating a caring community.

Working for United Way, I think about giving every day. I don’t mean just receiving a financial gift, although that’s vital to our work. I mean the effort that every person on our team puts forth to fight poverty and build financially stable families. I mean the countless ways people in Jackson County give their time, their energy, and yes, their financial resources to transform lives.

We’re giving when we bring community leaders together to talk about solutions to poverty, be it through our Leaders ENGAGE! event or through our Financial Stability Network.

We’re giving when we partner to help workers through JobSTAR.

We’re giving when we “Stuff The Bus” for kids in need, or donate diapers for families that can’t afford them.

We’re giving when we rally around children through Energizing Education, helping them read better and succeed in school.

We’re giving when we invest in crucial programs, like 2-1-1 and more than two dozen other programs in Jackson County, to help people get through the toughest issues they face so they can build their pathways to a better life.

Every individual donation to United Way, every workplace campaign supporting our work, every social media post liked and shared, is a gift to our community.

Giving Tuesday is next week Tuesday, December 3. As you pause to think about how you can give, I hope you’ll think about United Way of Jackson County. Last year we invested $815,449 in programs and partnerships impacting 49,915 people right here in our county. That investment happened because of a community that care about giving.

This week I’m thankful for each of you and the spirit of giving that shines in Jackson County every day.

Ken Toll is President & CEO of United Way of Jackson County.