“Do as I say, not as I do.”
Growing up, this was a phrase I heard many a time when I would challenge my parents on why the rules were different for kids and adults. Equity and justice to me back then, meant staying up as late as the grownups.
Recently, this phrase popped into my head in the context of our work at United Way. We spend a lot of time promoting the benefits of workplace volunteering as a tool to improve our community and boost employee engagement. Yet, for our own small but mighty staff team at United Way, we rarely make the time. That is, until today!
Today is Giving Tuesday; a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. We love the concept of Giving Tuesday as a way to promote charitable giving and people getting involved in the causes they care about.
To be honest though, our local United Way has struggled a bit with how to engage in the Giving Tuesday movement in a meaningful way. Giving Tuesday is used as the “opening day
of the giving season,” but falls smack dab in the middle of our community-wide United Way Campaign; a time when our
donors and volunteers are hyper-engaged and
hearing from us a ton already.
So we’re doing it a little different. Our staff team is using Giving Tuesday as our opportunity to show a little #LocalLove and give back ourselves. Every member of our team will be taking a few hours throughout the day to volunteer their time in a way that is meaningful to them.
Some are catching up on work for boards and committees they sit on, some are volunteering in their kids’ classrooms or at their place of worship, and many are rolling up their sleeves to help out at local organizations – some funded by United Way and some not. Me, I will be serving up lunch for kids at “Eat to Learn” a United Way-funded program in St. Thomas and packing up boots collected by GenNexters during their “Give Cold Feet the Boot” boot drive.
Giving Tuesday will be our opportunity to pause from our daily work, and do something that fuels our passion for our community. As Margaret Mead so eloquently put it, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
We’ll keep you posted on our adventures via our @unitedwayemca social feeds.
Go, DoGooders, go!