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#GivingTuesday: Kids Can Teach Us About Generosity

This year, Dallas is hosting #BigDGives and aims to earn the title of “the most generous city in the nation.” Since 2012, the annual movement has inspired giving around the world on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

GivingThursday

A colleague recently shared a story that made me think about our some common core beliefs and approaches to giving.

Her daughter’s kindergarten teacher called to tell her that her daughter had brought a little coin purse stuffed full of pennies and nickels to school to “help pay for new crayons because so many were broken.” It was a total — and happy — surprise to her mom and dad.

This act of kindness wasn’t connected to a parent initiated discussion about sharing or any overt teaching strategy. The young girl simply saw a problem and wanted to contribute to making things better for everyone.   

#GivingTuesday … has inspired giving around the world.

Conventional wisdom tells us that generosity is not an innate human quality.  Many believe we have to teach children to care about and share with others. Many also tend to believe that charity depends upon the existence of “givers” and “receivers.” Givers are the “haves” and receivers are the “have nots.”  And many believe that giving is often driven by recognition, incentives, benefits, or return on investment.  Many philanthropic efforts are structured around these assumptions.   

But taking a cue from kids, it appears that the desire to give is a natural inclination and everyone can contribute, regardless of the size of their pocketbook. And sometimes our reason for giving has nothing to do with getting anything in return. 

Since 2012, #GivingTuesday, which is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, has inspired giving around the world.

This annual movement has resulted in increased donations, volunteer hours, and activities that highlight the good in communities. #GivingTuesday truly democratizes giving by encouraging and celebrating every ACT of kindness.  

#BigDGives

This year, Dallas is hosting a citywide #GivingTuesday effort, #BigDGives. This day will lead our city into the holiday season in a spirit of thanks, giving and gratitude.  Building on the momentum from North Texas Giving Day, we aim to earn the title of “the most generous city in the nation.”

Our collective goal on November 29 is to log 10 million impACTS, including volunteer hours, monetary and other donations, and random acts of kindness.

Let’s build a community and a world that is worthy of our children. After all, their spirit of love, kindness, and generosity is leading the way. 

Here’s how you can participate:

Visit the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Facebook page or Twitter @UnitedWayDallas for ideas on how you can be part of #GivingTuesday. 

Tag the United Way (@UnitedWayDallas) in your social media posts and use #GivingTuesday.
Go to the website and log your impACT.

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Susan Hoff is the chief strategy, impact and operations officer at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and children’s advocate at the local, state, and national levels.

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