Giving Tuesday is My Black Friday:

What Do Your Donations Say About You?

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Photo by Maheima Kapur on Unsplash

I am highly impressionable but only in matters that I care about. I did not shop on Black Friday. I can identify fake news. I know political propaganda when I see it. But I am a sucker for Giving Tuesday. I care about certain “causes” and so when Giving Tuesday comes around, I get excited!

I know that I am going to give, but not to which organizations. I can’t give to everything that I care about, or to everyone who asks. Warning to you over-anxious do-gooders — Do not try to get a head start by telling me to give before Giving Tuesday. I will get irritated, and delete your email, no matter how much I like your organization. Leave me alone, I’m giving on Giving Tuesday! Don’t cheat! Don’t try to cut in line for my donation! Boundaries, you know.

So Giving Tuesday comes. I am sitting at the breakfast table, having coffee, reading the paper, and then I catch up on my emails on may phone, anxious to participate. There were a few organizations that I usually give to, but when it came to actually donating, their system was not set up to make it easy. They didn’t use PayPal. So I groan and know that they will need to wait. I am not going to leave my coffee, get up and go into my room to look for my credit card, in my wallet, in my purse (oh, the drudgery) to make this donation.

Since I have my phone out, I go to Facebook, to see what the Giving Tuesday action is on there. Aha! My bestie has posted on the Facebook fund-raiser platform for her work’s non-profit arm that will fund activities for children of families in transitional housing. And that was easy to do on PayPal. Not only is she a friend who is doing great work managing programs for homeless families, I know many of these kids since I substitute teach at their school. That was an easy give.

Next, it’s Sandy Hook Promise. Easy on PayPal. Yes! I thought when Sandy Hook happened, this would be the tragedy that would turn the tide. How can politicians who have the power to make significant changes, not do anything? How can our great country still not be able to protect first graders (!) from being horribly murdered by a madman? How can the leaders of the NRA not feel guilty for their role in it? How can they sleep at night? Yet, even after this, the bloodshed continues. I give to support the brave parents of the victims who are trying to make the loss of their babies’ lives result in something meaningful so that this senseless loss of innocent life won’t happen to other families.

Here’s another one that came up on my Facebook feed — the International Rescue Committee. I did not do research on this group and I don’t think I have given to them before, but I was drawn into their cause — to help the children who are imprisoned at the border. Children! Imprisoned! This whole issue saddens me. It is appalling that this is happening in our country and that no one seems to be able to fix this mess. Okay, Facebook , I guess you know me. You got me. I give to the children at the border via the International Rescue Committee.

Okay, now I’m ready to go find my credit card and do the tedious chore of using a credit card online. Thank goodness for the scan feature. It is a pain to input those 16 numbers. But I make the effort and I donate to the non-profit where my daughter works, Kona Historical Society. Yes, I believe in their mission. Yes, my family’s history goes back four generations in Kona, so supporting them is like preserving my own family history. But mostly, I do it because it’s my daughter’s work, and I want to support her.

I am also on a mailing list for Planned Parenthood. Here is another one that required a lot of inputting of fields and numbers. But, I persist because I believe in this too. Access to birth control information and birth control itself is credited with reducing abortion. Reducing, people! But those who oppose Planned Parenthood don’t really care about reducing abortion. If they did, they’d let them continue their work, not shut them down because they also provide abortions, which I support as well.

At this point, the giving faucet needed to be turned off. There has to be a line drawn or I’d also be in need of donation! I can be convinced to give when it is not Giving Tuesday. I’ve given to Emily’s List recently, and to my cousin’s grandson’s football fundraiser. I donated to the protest at Mauna Kea. And I expect to be giving to political campaigns for the 2020 election. You can probably infer from my donations that I am a bleeding-heart liberal. Gun Control. Planned Parenthood. Immigration. Homelessness. Family.

Yep, that’s me. Who are you? How do you manifest your beliefs and values? Giving money to non-profit organizations whose work you support is but one way.

Playwright, essayist, teacher, artist, songwriter, poet. Creativity Activist. Learn more: https://www.dianeaoki.com

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