With the changing seasons, it's time to embrace the spirit of giving and jump on the global generosity movement: Giving Tuesday.
This international day of charitable giving, which occurs on the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving, reminds us of the immense value of supporting charities and making a difference in the lives of those in need. This year, Giving Tuesday will be Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Let's explore the significance of Giving Tuesday, its origins, and its importance in Canada while also sharing a few of Kaci's favourite charities.
Giving Tuesday originated in the United States in 2012 as a response to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was designed to encourage people to step back from the hustle of holiday shopping and embrace the season's true meaning—giving back. Since its inception, this movement has spread worldwide, motivating millions to donate their time, money, and resources to causes that resonate with them. People and organizations participate in Giving Tuesday in every country on earth.
The Importance of Giving Tuesday in Canada
Giving Tuesday has recently gained immense popularity in Canada as Canadians understand the significance of supporting causes that aim to make a meaningful difference in various aspects of life. From mental health to education and social welfare, this day is a powerful reminder to Canadians of all backgrounds about the importance of supporting local and international charities.
Giving Tuesday is a time to come together, regardless of differences, to make a positive impact on the lives of others. In Canada, charitable donations and acts of kindness have steadily increased on Giving Tuesday, and it continues to inspire people to become involved in causes that matter to them.
Over $43 million was raised for Canadian charities last year, and more than 6 million Canadians participate annually.
Among the many remarkable charities in Canada and around the world, some truly stand out for their impactful work. Kaci's team holds a few favourites close to heart.
Himalayan Life works to improve the lives of children and communities in the Himalayas through protecting, nurturing and educating children and moving them from a place of not life to life. Their mission is to empower individuals to break the cycle of poverty and make a brighter future possible. Focused on transforming the lives of the most vulnerable in the Himalayas, this charity works on education, healthcare, and anti-trafficking initiatives.
“In 2018, I went to Nepal as part of a motorcycle tour that Himalayan Life was offering under their HL Adventures initiative. Along the way, I was able to visit their various projects designed to rescue, protect and educate street children. Seeing and meeting these kids in person, many of them the same age as my own kids and witnessing the joy in their eyes because they now have hope and a future was heartwarming. I will never forget the impact and am forever changed because of it. They do great work.” - Misti Hurst
This organization empowers young leaders to advocate for mental health awareness and education across Canada, aiming to transform how society understands and approaches mental health. The goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and create a future where mental health is recognized, understood, and supported.
“They do amazing work and offer support for youth who are struggling with their mental health. It’s accessible, and the metrics are great. They are meeting such a big need. All over the world, youth are really struggling, kind of post-COVID. That's why I'm passionate about that Canadian organization.” - Markku Kostamo
This organization is dedicated to supporting men facing depression, providing resources, tools, and a supportive community to help them on their journey to recovery. Mental health awareness and support are critical, and HeadsUpGuys is there to aid men in their mental health journey.
“I came across HeadsUpGuys after participating in a fundraising motorcycle campout event called ‘Get Lost and Find Yourself.’ It was created by a man who credits motorcycle riding and HeadsUpGuys with saving his life. How remarkable it was to witness men helping me and being okay with their vulnerability.” - Misti Hurst
Thrive is spreading a naturally contagious model for growing health organically. Thrive trains and equips communities to create Life Gardens so they can step out of poverty and teach others to do the same.
“I fell in love with their whole mission and have been excited by the fact that we have so many values in common with them, like nutrition, natural health, family structure, and job creation. My husband and I really like Thrive.” - Moira Guidon
House of Hope was established and built as a life-skill residential center for the children of Sumba, Indonesia. The mission is to help shape and develop young leaders in Sumba and give those who might not have a chance the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“My husband has been there multiple times, and once we were married, we went together. It was exciting to see this House of Hope that holds such a special place in his heart. They are trying to shift the culture and mindset there where women are oppressed and still get bought and sold. To see them receive an education, encouragement, hope for their future and good values instilled into them is wonderful. That doesn’t normally happen there. It's pretty small and not very international, but I love it! I'd love to take my kids there in the future.” - Moira Guidon
The School Development Program operates in two vastly different parts of Rwanda—one school district surrounding the capital of Kigali and the other bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo—so that every child may have access to a quality, Christian values-based education, no matter their location or circumstances.
“I love Wellspring. I've been cycling for them every year for five years to raise money for them, and it is right along the lines of Himalayan Life for me - providing education for young kids who just wouldn't get it otherwise.” - Shauna Kostamo
Flatbush Cats exists to solve the cat overpopulation crisis in Brooklyn - and beyond. After rescuing hundreds of friendly strays and kittens who all needed medical care, they noticed that new cats still kept showing up year after year. So they looked for the root of the problem and built a new high-volume spay-neuter clinic (Flatbush Vet) to serve both low-income cat owners and volunteers across Brooklyn. They are able to provide 7,500+ annual spay-neuter surgeries, systematically addressing the root of the cat overpopulation crisis.
“I am a cat person through and through and have been following them on YouTube for a few years. I love to see the journeys of individual cats and to see them find their forever home.” - Megan Delport
What You Can Do:
As Giving Tuesday approaches, consider how you can make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. This day is not just about financial contributions; it's also about volunteering time, spreading awareness, and encouraging others to join the movement. Whether through social media campaigns, local events, or individual acts of kindness, the essence lies in collective action for the greater good.
Every act of kindness matters. Let's make this Giving Tuesday the most impactful yet.