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Published November 21, 2012, 11:35 PM

Positively Beautiful: Thankful Thursday, Giving Tuesday

Today, give thanks. On Tuesday, give back. “We have a day for giving thanks. We have three for getting deals …Wouldn’t it be great to have a day for giving back?” That’s the simple, beautiful premise behind Giving Tuesday – a new holiday tradition that’s sweeping the nation and blogosphere.

By: Dr. Susan Mathison, Areavoices.com, INFORUM

Today, give thanks.

On Tuesday, give back.

“We have a day for giving thanks. We have three for getting deals …Wouldn’t it be great to have a day for giving back?”

That’s the simple, beautiful premise behind Giving Tuesday – a new holiday tradition that’s sweeping the nation and blogosphere.

The folks behind Giving Tuesday are campaigning to make the Tuesday after Thanksgiving a nationwide event – just like Black Friday, Local Saturday or Cyber Monday, but with a charitable twist.

We all want to give – it’s in our human nature. But sometimes we feel we don’t have enough time or money to make a difference. And even if we do, sometimes we don’t know where to begin.

Not to worry. I’ve created a list of five ways to make a personal impact on Tuesday.

Let’s make our area a global hub of generosity and gratitude.

GIVE SUPPORT

Learn about the amazing nonprofit community in our area. Where can you give your spare time, talent and treasure? Especially at this time of year, there are creative ways to make a difference.

Check out www.impactgiveback.org, www.myfirstlInk.org, United Way at www.uwcc.net or www.DivaConnection.org

to find out about local events and causes that might inspire you.

The Celebrations section of the Sunday Forum is another great place to find out about volunteer opportunities.

And put Feb. 14, 2013, on your calendar for more reasons than roses and chocolates. It’s Giving Hearts Day, an online fundraising celebration for more than 100 local and regional groups.

GIVE HOPE

Superstorm Sandy is still fresh in everyone’s minds. While the floods have subsided, our neighbors on the East Coast are still struggling to move forward through the devastation. The cold weather and snow compound the misery. Donate $10 (or more) to the American Red Cross to support the ongoing cleanup and restoration. Or check out the Sandy Relief concert in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12.

GIVE STYLE

Got a spare dress, blazer or pair of pumps in your closet? Donate them to Dress For Success, a nonprofit that gives professional attire to disadvantaged women.

Who knows? Someone could be wearing your favorite blouse when she lands a life-changing job.

GIVE BEAUTY

Ladies, I know you’ve got at least one tube of perfectly pristine, unopened lipstick (or nail polish, or eye shadow) in your makeup drawer. Parcel up your unused cosmetics and beauty supplies and donate them to our local YWCA so women and girls can feel positively beautiful, even during trying times.

Or send extra hotel soap, lotion and shampoo on the next mission trip to Haiti.

GIVE PATIENCE

Every single one of us can afford to give a little more patience and understanding to the people in our lives. It doesn’t take extra time, money or energy – all it takes is a simple decision. Next Tuesday – and for the rest of the holiday season – take a deep breath and smile. Make an effort to give your compassion generously and lavishly. I promise no one will ask for a gift receipt to return it.

I’ll leave you with a powerful quote, from a woman who knows a thing or two about giving:

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

Learn more at GivingTuesday.org.

Dr. Susan Mathison founded Catalyst Medical Center in Fargo and created PositivelyBeautiful.com.

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