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Actor and composer of Puerto Rican descent Lin Manuel Miranda distributes food to victims of Hurricane Maria in 'La Placita de Güisin', in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.
Carlos Giusti/AP

7 Great Ways to Give Back on ‘Giving Tuesday’

To read back through the major news events in 2017 is to be confronted by a litany of humanitarian crises, near and far. 

Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Earthquakes in Mexico and Iran

That’s not to mention drought in the Horn of Africa threatening 20 million people; deadly flooding in Southeast Asia; and human-made conflict around the world. 

Take Action: Call on World Leaders to Help Millions of People Affected by Extreme Weather

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the bleak news bludgeoning us from what seems like all angles. 

Enter “Giving Tuesday.”

A chance to take a moment to reflect on the causes that are important to us — and to the world — “Giving Tuesday” was first celebrated in 2012 by 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. 

Read More: Here Are 22 Places to Donate to on Giving Tuesday

The idea was simple: to urge individuals to give back to communities in need. 

Following the consumerism of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” “Giving Tuesday” raked in $180 million for charity last year, according to CBS News, which was a 12-fold increase over the year before.  

Here are seven ways you can give back on “Giving Tuesday”: 

1/ Support organizations doing on-the-ground work

RF2129957_Rohingya 9 Oct 2017 004.jpgImage: Roger Arnold/UNHCR

In places currently experiencing humanitarian crises, one of the best ways to give is to donate to organizations doing on-the-ground relief and recovery work. 

• To help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, check out this list

• To donate to Rohingya refugees suffering ethnic cleansing Myanmar, consider donating to BRAC, IOM, UNHCR, or any of the organizations listed here

• Donating to victims of the Iran earthquake is a challenge because of US sanctions against that country, but you can still give to these charities.

• Drought and hunger continue to affect millions across the Horn of Africa. Check out this list of ways to help. 

2/ Start rounding up 

Not all donations come in intervals of $100 and $500. Another way to give back comes just pennies and nickels at a time. 

Many apps, such as Lyft, include the option to “round up” for charity. Your $7.13 ride home will cost $8.00 and $.77 will go to a charity of your choice. Other apps, like Drops, allow you to do the same thing through your purchases. 

If you’re an Amazon shopper, buy products through the AmazonSmile site, which has already donated more than $60 million to various charities. 

3/ If you’re in New York, head to a holiday market


Some organizations like World Vision International — a partner of Global Citizen — are taking to the streets for “Giving Tuesday.” 

In New York City’s Bryant Park holiday market, World Vision is setting up a pop-up shop where visitors can help pack hygiene kits and water jerries for those who have suffered humanitarian crises, learn about the organization’s work in the US and abroad, and donate to those in need. 

4/ Volunteer your time 

Giving back to your local community is another way to serve others on “Giving Tuesday.” 

Don’t know where to begin? 

Apps like GiveGab can help set you up with local volunteering opportunities — and make new friends at the same time. You can also check out websites like VolunteerMatch, AllForGood, and Catchafire


5/ Give through Facebook

If you’ve never donated to one of 750,000 charities that partner with Facebook, tomorrow’s a good day to start. On Tuesday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match all donations to charities on Facebook up to $2 million

6/ Shop with a purpose 

Buy glasses from Warby Parker and a pair is donated to someone in need. Buy shoes from TOMS and the company will donate a pair to someone in need. 

You get the idea. 

Many companies structure donations into their business plan, ensuring that every purchase is matched with a donation to someone who lacks the financial resources to do so. 

Check out this list of organizations that give when you buy.  

7/ Take action

GCF17_Crowd_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen220.jpgImage: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

Give the gift of your voice on issues that matter to you. 

Call your senators to advocate for an AIDS-free generation. Pledge to become an “ocean guardian,” and remove plastic from our waterways. Call on countries like Sweden to fund education in emergencies. 

As they say, time is money.