’Tis the season! This time of year we are inclined to take a step back and give thanks for what we have, and if we’re able, to show our appreciation in actionable ways. It was in this spirit that Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement focused on inspiring people to do good, was created back in 2012. The commemoration (usually presented in hashtag form as #GivingTuesday) occurs every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—just a few days after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, on December 3, people around the world will come together to participate in acts of kindness and goodwill in order to build community, create connections, and foster joy and hope.
There’s no doubt we have a lot on our minds these days—presidential impeachment hearings and the threat to DACA recipients here in the US and the worldwide climate crisis come to mind—which means we might not be in the giving mood. But one of the best ways to make an impact and to play a role in transforming our communities is to support the charities that mean the most to us.
It’s true, we don’t need a designated day every year to remind us to do good—we’re humanists after all—but #GivingTuesday acts as a counterbalance to a series of days that promote overindulgence and overconsumption during a larger season of gratitude.
And while it’s important to focus on what we’re thankful for and to be grateful for the good in our lives, it’s just as important to remain critical and to be anything but complacent in the face of injustice. That is why we’re calling on humanists to take action this #GivingTuesday.
So, how can YOU take part in fighting for change?
Humanist volunteers broadcast to the world that religious affiliation isn’t necessary for compassion, social responsibility, and proactive responses. The American Humanist Association’s social justice alliances are always accepting volunteers with all kinds of skills and abilities to create positive change in the world and represent humanist values in action. To get started, contact Anaiise Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org. And to help those affected by disaster, consider joining Foundation Beyond Belief’s vast volunteer network.
2. Write to your representatives
Your elected officials are all in office to represent you—but they need to hear from you. Policymakers depend on receiving information and guidance from their constituents and other citizens when deciding how to vote on important issues. That’s why we’ve made it easy to make sure your humanist values are heard and represented. Regularly check our action page for information on how to contact your representatives about the latest issues affecting humanists.
3. Mobilize your local group
Local chapters are crucial in our work to foster a society based on reason and compassion. This #GivingTuesday, ask your local group to host a movie screening; organize a march, donation drive, or volunteer service; host a speaker series; or organize an in-depth discussion on topics important to humanists. Need some inspiration for your group? Take a look at what some AHA chapters have done in the past. Not a member of an AHA chapter? Join one here!
4. Talk about humanist values
The holiday season provides opportunities for conversations. If you’re able to, re-educate yourself, family, and friends about holidays like Thanksgiving and share with others why you’re a humanist. You can even host a living room conversation where participants practice being open and curious about all perspectives, with a focus on learning from one another.
5. Gift the Humanist magazine or AHA membership
Do you have an old copy of the Humanist or Free Mind you don’t need any more? Leave it behind at a library or coffee shop for someone else to read. Or take the next step and gift someone a one-year membership to the AHA.
6. Be active on social media
Want to see your good deed go even further? Help us get the word out on social media! Post your favorite humanist photos or #unselfies, or tell people why you support the AHA and use the hashtags #HumanistsGive on #GivingTuesday. Share AHA’s posts, tag a friend, or even start your very own Facebook fundraiser!
7. Shop with charities in mind
Did you know that when you shop with AmazonSmile, a portion of the money you spend can be donated to the AHA? If you’re doing your holiday shopping on Amazon this season, visit smile.amazon.com and enter “American Humanist Association” as your preferred charity.
Our work would not be possible without the generosity of our supporters. Contributions to the AHA make a direct impact on our ability to defend the constitutional rights of all Americans and protect true religious freedom. This #GivingTuesday, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the AHA so we can fight for humanist values in legislatures, in the courts, and in the realm of public opinion. Together, we can make a difference.