With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday coming up, a lot of people have spending on their minds.
Sometimes I wonder if we might end up naming every day in between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But the real shame, in my opinion, is that #GivingTuesday is after all the days created to celebrate spending—it’s seems to send the message that if you have some money leftover (after all your shopping on the other 3+ days) maybe you can dole out on #GivingTuesday. Maybe.
It’d be nice if we thought about charities and causes we believe in BEFORE we rush out to get new TVs or this year’s latest gadget.
But, on the other hand, it’s not all bad because…
1. There’s a designated day for giving back! Even if it is just one day (crammed in after big spending days) it’s a day, nonetheless where giving back gets some attention.
2. #GivingTuesday is also after Thanksgiving—which puts us all in the proper mindset for being thankful and hopefully therefore charitably minded.
Plus doesn’t it just sound like a more pleasant day?
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and not just because of the delicious food and general appropriateness of being lazy. Thanksgiving, to me, is also about slowing down and appreciating what matters in our lives—family, friends, maybe a good book or just some R&R. Surrounded by family and warm, delicious food, we can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy inside, thankful for all our blessings.
So, in that way, Thanksgiving is the perfect precursor to #GivingTuesday (and even more so than to Black Friday). Therefore, this year, before I begin my holiday shopping I’m going to think about all those things that enrich my life and make it wonderful. And then I’m going to give back.
Parks are one of those things to me, and I hope they’re on your list too. For many of us parks are gyms, gathering places, areas for discovery and learning, or maybe just a place to get away. We’re lucky enough to have outdoor spaces available to us without a fee at the gate. With that in mind I challenge you to think about what that is worth to you.
The sanity that a crisp fall walk through the woods brings to my mind is well worth being thankful for, and well worth a small donation on #GivingTuesday.
As you know, we’re a donor-supported public park and we need your help in order to maintain these brand new parks to world-class standards. One way to support us is through membership. I’m going to be giving Parklands Memberships as gifts this year to many friends (who I haven’t successfully coerced into buying one).
What’s great about a membership gift is that it means something.
First, it’s a donation to a worthy cause. The giver and the receiver can appreciate that. Second, it’s a gift that keeps on giving (I know you hear that a lot—but its true!) Not only will a membership mean discounts and special programs for an individual or family for an entire calendar year, but it also means sustaining trees, plants, programming and more within The Parklands. So if you think about it, it’s not even just a gift for the person who has everything, it’s a gift for present and future generations.
Now that’s something to be thankful for.
If you’d like to give the gift of Parklands Membership this year, please do so at the link below. We’re still working toward our fundraising goals for 2014 and it’d be a huge help. Thanks for your consideration and happy shopping!
P.S. If you are unable to make a monetary gift, don’t worry, #GivingTuesday is not restricted to financial donations. Make a pledge on Dec. 2 to donate a few hours of your time in 2015. You can learn about volunteer opportunities and fill out an application by clicking here.
About the Author
Ellen Doolittle Oost
Ellen has been the Director of Development at 21st Century Parks since April of 2015. In this role she oversees fundraising functions for The Parklands, including the annual fund/membership campaign, corporate sponsorships, supporting the Board of Directors, leading major fundraising events, and seeking grant and foundational support. It’s her goal to create multiple compelling opportunities for donors to support The Parklands, a donor-supported public park that does not receive tax dollar support on an annual basis but has four world-class parks free and open to the public 365 days a year.
Although fairly new to this role, Ellen is intimately familiar with The Parklands as she spent the previous 3 years as the Communications Manager in charge of public relations, social media, community outreach and marketing for the parks. Before joining 21st Century Parks she spent three years with Louisville-based advertising agency Doe-Anderson. Her background also includes marketing and account service roles at Anheuser-Busch InBev, PriceWeber advertising agency, and direct mail marketing at Traffic Builders, Inc. Ellen is a graduate of Marietta College where she studied advertising, public relations and marketing and played volleyball. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling with her two mutts and her husband Andrew.