Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Can We Do Better Than Giving Tuesday?

Tim Lilley

Can we do better than “Giving Tuesday,” which we “celebrated” this year on Nov. 27?

I believe we can.

In my opinion, giving should not be the focus of only one day a year.

 From here, “Giving Tuesday” makes it too easy for us to forget the other 364 days.

If you took advantage of the day and donated to charity, good for you. Thank you.

That being said, I hope you are also giving on other days of the week in other weeks of the year.

Catholic Charities helps people every day of the year. The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry – and those run by some of our parishes – see that people have food – good, quality food – 52 weeks a year. Our parishes’ SVdP conferences visit and help people across all four seasons. Our SVdP Thrift Store offers great quality and amazing value year-round, and their work benefits the needy in our community.

So … why is it we need one special day for giving?

How about we start something different? Maybe we can call it “Everyday Giving” – at least for now.

This is not to suggest that everyone should make some kind of significant donation every single day. No; it is, however, to suggest that God Calls us to give – not just on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. And, as a result, giving can – and should – take a variety of forms. Here are some that literally come to mind in this moment, as I’m typing:

  • Pay it backward – next time you’re in the drive-through, tell the cashier you want to pay for the order of the person immediately behind you in line.
  • Get groceries – when is the last time you were in your favorite market and thought, “I better pick up some things for the food pantry?” I suspect that more of us could do that way more often. It doesn’t have to be a lot, and whatever you get doesn’t have to cost a lot. You will still be able to provide someone with good food that they might otherwise have gone without. Pick up a few things and take them to your favorite food pantry.
  • Got socks? – There is a radio ad campaign going on these days for a company that makes and sells ... socks. Its founders say that they donate a pair of socks to homeless shelters for every pair they sell because they learned that socks are the homeless’ most-requested clothing item. You’re going Christmas shopping soon, I’ll bet – either in person or online. Add socks to your list; donate them to a homeless shelter near you.
  • Give time – Time is the most precious gift you can give. Volunteer; visit a nursing home or personal-care home. Mom was in the latter for more than eight years after her stroke, and I was saddened by how many of her co-residents never had visitors. Most of them weren’t bed-ridden or suffering dementia. That was the worst part; they knew they had been abandoned, regardless of whether it was intentional.

We all can give more. Let’s do.