View Original Notice ? Pinch of Salt: Giving Tuesday? Giving every day
I’m writing this on Tuesday morning — Giving Tuesday morning.
If you’ve been quarantined in a cave with no Wi-Fi or binging on every episode of “The Simpsons” ever made, let me explain what Giving Tuesday is supposed to be.
It began a decade or so ago, sometime after all the days right after Thanksgiving had been given commercial names. Black Friday has been around for several decades — that day retailers were supposed to get in the black with tons of holiday sales. These days, Black Friday is pretty anemic, since it depends largely on people actually going to stores to buy stuff.
Small Business Saturday started as a gimmick for American Express’s credit card — shop at a small business, use an American Express card and get a discount. The card and discount parts fell away, but small business owners decided the marketing message had legs, and they continue to use the moniker.
Cyber Monday began as a sort of derogatory phrase, with people supposedly working shopping online instead. Then Amazon started promoting the day with special specials, and the rest is history.
Giving Tuesday was a bit of penance for all that unbridled commercialism coupled with end of year giving campaigns. For you youngsters, charitable donations once were a pretty good tax deduction.
Notice that Sunday managed to avoid a nickname. Thank God for that.
I have a question. Why is it that a day of charitable giving comes after three days of personal spending? Any chance that mirrors the priorities of Americans?
I suspect there’s some hope to capitalize on the guilt motive for giving. The guilt of being better off than others has always been part of the reason people give, and people who’ve just spent a bunch of money on themselves and their family typically have an added dose of guilt.
Still, it bothers me to talk about helping others as an afterthought to Christmas shopping.
I know, I promote Long Beach Gives, and that’s a day with a full-court press about helping charities. And we’re really hoping you are paying attention to and participating in our Grunion Gift Card Drive for victims of domestic violence. So where do I get off complaining about Giving Tuesday?
I’ve said many times, and still believe, that Long Beach is one of the most giving communities in the country. Our residents are quick to step up to help those in need, and those agencies dedicated to helping those in need. Ditto for the generous support of the arts of all flavors seen in Long Beach.
It’s also true that I’ve tried to help several specific groups raise money to keep their good work working. I’ve stooped to using this space to do that more than once. And I honestly do hope that those putting effort into Giving Tuesday are rewarded with donations.
But I do worry about going to the well too often. If you’re not careful, the well will run dry.
This is the season of giving, the season of goodwill to all. Please keep helping, on Giving Tuesday and on every other day.
We buy stuff all the time. Let’s give stuff all the time, too.