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Make #GivingTuesday a US tradition like Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The holiday season starts with one day to give thanks followed by two days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) for bargain hunting. Today, nonprofits, businesses, and individuals are coming together to launch #GivingTuesday – a day to celebrate the great American tradition of giving.

By Kathy Calvin and Sol Adler / November 27, 2012

New York Jets players pose during a charity fashion show held in partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue on Nov. 26 in Short Hills, N.J., where a portion of the evening's sales will be donated to the Jets Foundation. Op-ed contributors Kathy Calvin and Sol Adler say #GivingTuesday will provide 'a rallying point for organizations, retailers, corporations, and individuals' to donate time and resources to charity.

John Minchillo/AP Images for NFL

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Every year, the holiday season starts with one day to give thanks followed by two days – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – for bargain hunting. But the holiday season is and always has been about more than giving gifts – it’s also about giving back.

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Generosity is a defining characteristic of the American people, but we don’t have a designated day to celebrate and fuel that generosity. As many Americans recover from superstorm Sandy and a crippling recession, encouraging a collective spirit of giving is especially needed.

We need to be inspired by those like the New York and New Jersey families who opened their homes to those in need in the wake of Sandy; the 9-year-old girl who swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco to raise money to send anti-malaria bed nets to Africa; the service members in Afghanistan who lined up to donate blood to a wounded soldier; and all of our fellow citizens who have found a way to carve out monetary donations to help support causes they believe in.

That is why nonprofits, businesses, and individuals from across the country are coming together today to launch #GivingTuesday – a national day to celebrate the great American tradition of giving.

For years, retailers have benefited from coordinating national shopping days (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday) around the holidays. #GivingTuesday takes a page from their playbook and creates a day at the beginning of the season dedicated to giving. Of course, organizations and causes need monetary support throughout the year, but #Giving Tuesday provides a rallying point for organizations, retailers, corporations, and individuals. Today will serve as a kick-off day to inspire everyone to continue giving in numerous ways throughout the holiday season and year round.

The idea for #GivingTuesday was launched in September with about 40 partners, large and small, who pledged to help build the movement, spread the word, and come up with creative new ideas around giving. #GivingTuesday has grown into a movement of more than 2,000 partners, including large corporations and small businesses, nonprofits and community centers.

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