Celebrate the Season with Love

Poughkeepsie Journal Op Ed by March Gallagher

Tis the season: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and #GivingTuesday are upon us. Over the next few weeks, many of us will sit down and make our annual charitable contributions. You are in good company: more than one third of US charitable gifts are made between today and December 31st.

What does your annual donation really do? For many local and national nonprofits, your generous gift is a lifeline, providing much needed support for the work that they do all year.

Our contributions also are an expression of our compassion. The year-end holidays, with their focus on family and giving thanks, prompt us to consider our role in making the world a better place. Giving Tuesday and the final days of the year provide us the opportunity to take stock of all that we hold dear.

Whether you give close to home to one of the many wonderful charitable organizations here in the Hudson Valley, you give to your alma mater, or a national or an international organization, your donation is an expression of your values.

There are many styles of giving, too. You can chose to focus, giving one large gift to the one cause that you care most about, or you can make smaller gifts to support many good causes. However you do it, your giving supports the people, organizations and causes that are important to you.

Our donations are an expression of love. Perhaps you will continue your family’s long-standing commitment to a particular charity. Sometimes your gifts are an expression of a newly found interest or passion. Sometimes a disaster or drastic policy change can reorient your priorities and your gifts.

Giving has never been more convenient than it is now. Whether your gift is a small donation or large, supporting charity locally, nationally or internationally, you can do it online, by mail or even in person. If there is a cause you care about but you do not know where to give, there are a myriad of online resources, like GuideStar or Charity Navigator, as well as community resources, or your local community foundation, to help you make your choice.

Whether you give to a charity your family has supported every year through thick and thin, or you are supporting a cause new to you, we applaud you. You give because you care about the people, the creatures, the communities, and the world that we call home.

We give because we care. We care because we love. We give because we love. So this year, for #GivingTuesday, and for the rest of the season, give with love.

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