Giving Tuesday is like St. Patrick’s Day for non-profits. We are all seeking that proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and hoping to enchant enough folks along our journey to discover that, by the time the clock strikes midnight, our pot of gold is full and too heavy to even carry back to our humble homes. If you’re like me and in the social services field, you will receive around 30 email requests to give to particular agencies on Giving Tuesday. Many have secured matches for donations, which can double or even triple your impact, and doesn’t that feel good to turn just $10 into $30 or $100 into $300?! In order to not get overwhelmed with this multitude of emails, I take a quick note of who’s sending something, check to see what they’ve highlighed, and then delete the email. This is becasue I want to go to my deleted files today and easily find all the requests. Otherise I’m flagging 30 extra emails or I’m sifing through all the approximately 100 emails I received yesterday. I run a non-profit and I support the non-profit members of the Tristate Trauma Network in whatever ways I can throughout the year, giving a donation here or there, choosing a different agency’s fundraiser to attend each year (way too hard to attend 40), praising their work, lending assistance, etc. I also have some agencies that have personal meaning to me (eg. The Parkinson’s Foundation, Wounded Warriors, Salvation Army, St. Jude’s, St. Rita’s School for the Deaf, Welcome House, all my alma maters, my own agency of course: The Tristate Trauma Network, and United Way, which really supports the majoirty of non-profits in the area) which I support in the same way, giving during specifc donation drives or supporting events during the year. The Parkinson’s Steady Strides 5K is my family of origin’s favorite way to honor my dad each year since his passing from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease in 2015. Truth is, I don’t have a lot of extra money to give and usually end up keeping to an annual budget of around $300-500 for donations. Thus I’m forced to go small on my contributions for Giving Tuesday. I’ll pick about 5-10 agencies to give $10-$20 each to. If these get matched, even better!
But I also like to acknowledge the good work the non-profit agencies are doing in and for our community. Last night I was at a fitness class and noticed a man with a Talbert House Team tshirt. I approached him at the end of class to ask him if he worked at Talbert House, as they’ve been very involved with the Tristate Trauma Network since early on. He said he had recently retired, but had spent many years there working, his last position being in charge of housing, and always found it to be a great and fulfilling experience. I found myself thanking him for his service to the community, much like I thank military folks for their service to the country, and law enforcement folks for their service. It felt right coming out of my mouth and he was very appreciative, “Oh, well thank you so much for saying that. I always thought they did good work and was happy to be part of the team there.” Mic drop, heart warmed. What a beautiful thing to say in return and this was genuine. I’m going to call this man a Trauma Hero, even though that wasn’t the point of this blog entry.
Getting to the point now. On giving Tuesday, of course I encourage you to give to at least one non-profit whose work speaks to you. If it happens to be my agency’s work for trauma survivors, fabulous. But if it doesn’t, that’s okay too. You see I thrive on knowing that any non-profit doing good work in our community is getting supported by community members/the general public. I want all of us to be strong financially so we can fulfill our missions. There’s a whole lot of good being done right outside your door. If you can’t give money, please give a compliment to an agency that touches you in some way. Or to a person you know working at a non-profit. I can tell you that those compliments/praises are worth their weight in gold (see, I brought you back to the pot of gold analogy). I have been the recipient of many of those compliments over the years (36 years working in the non-profit sector) and it does drive me to keep going amidst stress and hard times. That is my ask of you regardless of what else you “give.” I thank you in advance for lifting up our non-profit heroes!
May your Giving Tuesday be sprinkled with HOPE and may you sprinkle others with HOPE today too!
Melissa Adamchik, Executive Director, Tristate Trauma Network
P.s. I wouldn’t be a good ED if I didn’t also mention that you can find our yellow DONATE button on the bottom left corner of any page of our website: www.tristatetraumanetwork.org , if it seems right to give today or any day.