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    Celebrate Community 280

    After Thanksgiving, Celebrate Your Community by Taking Part in #GivingTuesday

    For the first time in years, my family, the Turners, hosted a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The turkey was moist, my sour cream apple pie (mom’s secret recipe) was a hit, and best of all, the company of friends and family was a joy with which to spend time. It was certainly a time to take stock in the love and comforts we have.

    As we discussed whether to go to the malls on Black Friday or opt to make our holiday purchases online on Cyber Monday, my thoughts kept returning to the homeless veteran to whom I gave a few dollars as I drove by earlier that day while he stood in his usual spot at a busy intersection.

    The holidays spotlight the distinct contrasts within our communities. On one hand, there’s a great deal of consumerism and overindulgence that goes along with the activities and traditions, helping to distract us during an otherwise cold and dark season. The season starts with a day to feast and give thanks and two days to find bargains. On the other hand, there are many among us experiencing poverty.

    Unlike any other time of the year, the stark contrast motivates many to give back. On December 1,  #GivingTuesday, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity.

    There are many ways that people choose to give, such as making a financial contribution or volunteering their time at a local community-based organization. I’ll admit that I’m biased because I plan to donate items to my local Goodwill®. In turn, it will sell those donated items to generate revenues to support employment, job training and other services that create strong families in my community.

    #GivingTuesday is simple. Just find the right way for your family, community, company or organization to come together to give something more, then share how you are giving and inspire others to also give.

    Seth Turner
    GII Sr. Director of Public Policy until 2015
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