What if every Tuesday was #GivingTuesday?


Congratulations, you survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, (to my knowledge the Sunday following Thanksgiving does not have a designation except National French Toast Day), Cyber Monday, and now today is Giving Tuesday! By now, I am sure you have heard of #GivingTuesday but you may not know the background of how this day started.

Not just about money

#GivingTuesday began in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. #GivingTuesday is an inclusive and pluralistic community of millions of givers, with activity in every country on every continent to build the world we want to live in. #GivingTuesday emphasizes opportunities to give back to our local communities and causes but it does not have to stop today...

What if every Tuesday was #GivingTuesday?

 #GivingEveryTuesday is a series of weekly opportunities to come together to give, volunteer, and show kindness in shared moments with communities, causes, and countries around the world.

Local Donation Drives

You can honor #GivingTuesday at these local donation drives. Also, if you are part of a nonprofit that, during the holidays, is hosting a donation drive or needs volunteers, please let me know so that I may promote your efforts!

  • Santa’s Sleigh is coming to your neighborhood soon! Santa will once again be partnering with the McLane Black Lake Fire Department in their annual food bank drive. For more details, go to McLane Black Lake Fire Department.
  • Olympia Toy Run - The 46th Annual Olympia Toy Run is this Saturday, December 2. The Olympia Toy Run brings motorcyclists together for a very worthy purpose: the joy of a child receiving a gift at Christmas. All the toys and money are donated to The Salvation Army for distribution through its Toy n’ Joy Shop. Strapped to bikes four abreast in row after row are brand-new children’s toys. Gleaming bikes sport different names badges and colors and their riders range from all-season diehards to weekend enthusiasts. For details including the parade route, go to Olympia Toy Run.
  • Toy n’Joy Shop - The "miracle" of Christmas repeats over and over again through the joy of caring and sharing. Among the many programs provided by The Salvation Army, those that particularly bring joy at Christmas are the Toy & Joy Project, Adopt-a-Family, and Angel Giving Tree, these programs help to ensure that hundreds of lower-income families in our community have an opportunity to receive gifts, have gifts for their children and funds to purchase food for a Christmas dinner celebration. For more information about what assistance is available and service locations, please contact The Salvation Army in Olympia.

Volunteer Award Season

As of today, you have one month to nominate someone for the new Washington State Volunteer Service Awards to honor the many types of formal and informal service and volunteerism happening in communities everywhere in our state. These awards replace the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which were offered in 2020.

“Serve Washington was in charge of coordinating that effort,” said Rachel Friederich, Communications Coordinator. “We took a pause to redesign these awards to make participation more accessible by removing barriers such as time and costs associated with travel and taking local communities’ preferences for volunteer recognition into account.”

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. December 22, 2023. “We believe volunteerism promotes bonds across races, cultures, beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences,” said Friederich. “We’re committed to ensuring these awards reflect the diversity of Washington and that nomination opportunities are equitable to all volunteers.”

Light The World Teal for November

Finally, if you see any teal lights alongside the holiday lights that is because – Light the World in Teal for November. We still have a couple more days in November, which is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month as well as National Home Care & Hospice Month. It’s a good opportunity to think about how you’d like to manage your end-of-life care, especially if you become unable to make decisions for yourself at that moment. It’s also a good time to talk with your loved ones about their wishes.

Soliciting your ideas

If you know of a nonprofit that is doing something great, celebrating a success, needs some outstanding volunteers, or hosting an event, let me know! This column (aside from a little education) celebrates nonprofits!

Mary Beth Harrington, CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) lives in Tumwater. She travels the country speaking at conferences and to individual organizations articulating issues facing nonprofits. Send your ideas to her at


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