With all the feasting from Thanksgiving, occasional mindful moments of gratitude, frenzied Black Friday shopping followed by Cyber-Monday Online bargain hunting, America has seen fit to repent for the last five years with Giving Tuesday. Ironically, it comes last after all money has been spent on material goods, leaving little left to give, but the fact that it exists does give us pause about ways to make our giving more meaningful.
According to the The Atlantic, both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have seen unprecedented giving since the last American presidential election. Donations are flooding into organizations poised to fight the agenda of the President-elect and not without some satire. According to one source from USA Today, as of two weeks ago, close to 50,000 donations had been made to Planned Parenthood in the name of Mike Pence, now the most standard-bearer for anti-abortion efforts and defunding the organization despite all it does in providing women’s health services for populations in need.
The good news is that progressives are starting to open their wallets in increasing quantities. And, in concentrating donations to household name organizations, media coverage is noticing. However, just as Small Business Saturday is dedicated to spreading economic wealth from the Big Box stores to smaller, local mom and pop shops on Main Street, there are many worthy causes with smaller profiles than the ACLU who can benefit from #GivingTuesday. Here are just four to consider:
1.Southern Poverty Law Center. Equally well known as the ACLU, it tracks hate groups across the United States. The group asserts that there are now 892 hate groups opearting around the nation. There has been a 42% increase in anti-Muslim groups, and 190 operating KKK groups. Donations can be as little as $25 for either one time or recurring donations. For more information: https://www.splcenter.org/
2. MALDEF. Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund dedicated to the civil liberties for all Latinos in the U.S. Check out the executive director’s thoughful video on the organziation’s site on what MALDEF does on behalf of voter rights, immigration, and education issues including fighting a Texas proposal to charge students attending public schools if their families were undocumented. Donations online start as low as $5. For more information: http://www.maldef.org/
3. KIND. Kids in Need of Defense. KIND’s mission is to assure that no child appear in a Federal Immigration Court without the representation of an attorney. According to an attorney who has represented some of these cases, there is no such right to counsel in these courts. Even adults find court sessions intimidating so sending a child before any court without an adult or legal representation has been called “barbaric” by those familiar with the court system. KIND relies on donations of money and time in order to accomplish its mission. For more information: https://supportkind.org/donate/
4. KIVA. Based on the Hebrew word for “Protected,” Kiva is a micro-loan site that lets you loan rather than give dollars to people trying to start new ventures toward economic stability. You can sort the loan vetted list by country, especially if you want to keep your dollars in the U.S. and can also search by gender, and type of project from agriculture to crafts and education projects. Loans generally start at $25 and many in the U.S. are matched by bank and foundation sponsors. For more information: https://www.kiva.org/
Action Step: Pick one organization that supports a cause likely to be impacted by upcoming policy changes and make a donation/loan that suits your budget even if it’s only $5. If possible, make it a recurring donation that helps make an impact long past #GivingTuesday.
Tweetable: 4 Ideas for #GivingTuesday by donating to a cause under fire by the incoming administration. http://wp.me/p86nEM-8N @LittleHinges