Giving Tuesday … Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, etc.

EMTs Hailey Giles, left, and Elizabeth Izzo pose at the annual Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service Christmas tree sale on Monday, Nov. 27. All of the trees are grown in Chateaugay by Doug Downs. (News photo — Sydney Emerson)

After Black Friday, it was Small Business Saturday, then Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. Money is at the root of each of these dates, yet only one is designed to highlight the act of giving back to the community. The first three are shopping days. The last is a day to celebrate generosity.

With email blasts, direct mail campaigns and social media posts, we’re bombarded with pleas to give money to our favorite organizations on Giving Tuesday, which was Nov. 28. The website givingtuesday.org explains the vision of this day:

“We pursue radical generosity, defined by the transformational powers of empathy and solidarity, not a series of transactions or discrete interactions. Radical generosity creates a world in which the collective recognition of humanity fundamentally respects what each of us can give, receive, and learn from one another. If we were to arrive at any destination, having fulfilled our mission, that world would be built upon a foundation of shared humanity.”

Some of the local organizations that put out Giving Tuesday pitches this year included the Adirondack 46ers; Adirondack Architectural Heritage; Adirondack Council; Adirondack Foundation; Adirondack Mountain Club; Adirondack North Country Association; Adirondack Rail Trail Association; Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory; AdkAction; Ausable River Association; Bike Adirondacks, which donated 25% of its online sales that day to the Barkeater Trails Alliance; Historic Saranac Lake; North Country Public Radio; Paul Smith’s College; Protect the Adirondacks; United Way of the Adirondack Region; and USA Luge. They all do great work for our region.

The generosity certainly flowed this year.

For example, Mike Foote — a State Farm Insurance agent based in Lake Placid — posted on Facebook that he was sending $250 checks to four different organizations on Giving Tuesday: Zonta Club of the Adirondacks, Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO), Hospice of the North Country and North Country Life Flight.

Thank you, Mike!

Not all people waited until Tuesday to give.

On Friday, Nov. 24, TruNorthern Federal Credit Union — based in Malone and serving communities throughout the North Country — stopped by the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department and gave $500 to go toward firefighting efforts in the community. For them, it was Giving Friday.

On Giving Tuesday, putting a spotlight on generosity gives nonprofit, civic and sports organizations a boost in their revenue so they can continue serving the public. Yet we encourage people and businesses to give to their favorite organizations any day of the week and embody the spirit of Giving Tuesday year-round.

“Generosity is uplifting, generative, equalizing, and connecting,” states givingtuesday.org. “We believe that each and every act of generosity is a worthy act in and of itself. In this work, generosity is the primary means and the primary end.”

This time of the year, generosity is highlighted with annual efforts in our local communities. The North Elba Community Christmas Fund, for example, helps families in need with toys and clothes for kids and food for holiday meals. Many people give to this fund every year, and it’s appreciated.

People can also give back to local organizations by supporting their fundraising efforts. The Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service, for example, is currently selling Christmas trees at its building on Mill Pond Drive. They could use your help this year.

It’s important to note that generosity isn’t solely defined by monetary transactions. Many give their time on a regular basis, which is extremely valuable. With tight household budgets, many people can’t afford to hand out money because they are living paycheck to paycheck, trying to put food on the table, clothe their children, pay for medication and health care and heat the house during the long and cold Adirondack winter months. Donating time as a volunteer — even one or two hours a week — can make all the difference in the world to local organizations.

As the holiday season continues, we ask that everyone take a few moments and think about others. And don’t just think about organizations; think about people — co-workers, family members, volunteers in the community, neighbors, etc.

Can’t afford to hand out money? Give some time. Write a nice note to someone. Give a compliment. Say thank you … a lot. And smile. Sometimes a smile is all it takes to brighten someone’s day. It’s the little things in life that matter.

Happy holidays.

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