By Elisa Foster
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
Maybe it’s the hyper consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Perhaps, it was this touching New York Times article about the realities of homelessness in New York. Or, maybe it’s because after the recent passing of Nelson Mandela I was overwhelmed with memories of volunteering in South Africa ten years ago. Most likely it’s a combination of all of these things, but this holiday season I have a stronger than normal urge to give back to my community.
It started a couple of weeks ago when my local Ten Thousand Villages sent me an email about its Fair Tuesday event – 15% of the proceeds that day would go to Maternity Care Coalition, a friend and client of Melior. So, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to stock up on some of their beautiful handmade, fair trade Christmas ornaments.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who felt the need to be charitable that day, which has also been declared #GivingTuesday. According to Blackbaud, a nonprofit technology provider and #GivingTuesday partner, people gave over $19 million in online donations on #GivingTuesday, an increase of 90% compared to last year. While this year’s #GivingTuesday received more media attention and nonprofit participation than last year, Blackbaud’s CEO suggests this drastic increase in donations signals the beginning of a movement towards a more philanthropic culture.
Speaking of philanthropic cultures, Melior’s commitment to philanthropy continues to thrive. Throughout the year, Melior employees volunteer, serve on boards and make charitable contributions to support a number of nonprofits and charities – and we’re proud to recognize some of these organizations here:
- JEVS Human Services
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Maternity Care Coalition
- Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse
- Green Tree Community Health Foundation
- WOMENS WAY
- Sea Scouts
- Kellman Brown Academy
- Association for India’s Development
- University of Pennsylvania
- Jewish Family & Children Services of Southern New Jersey
- Temple University
- Jewish Federation of Southern Jersey
- Urban League of Philadelphia
- United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern NJ
- Salvation Army
If you’d like to extend the spirit of the holidays beyond #GivingTuesday, I encourage you to donate or volunteer your time to your favorite organization. For suggestions in the Philadelphia region, check out the organizations listed above and see our round-up of giving and volunteer opportunities below. Hopefully, this will be our first step to maintaining the spirit of giving throughout the New Year.
If you have suggestions for additional giving opportunities and programs to support, please add them in the comments section below!
Holiday Giving Round-Up
- Set up a virtual Red Kettle and collect donations online for the Salvation Army
- Buy some toys and stuff a stocking for Stockings for Kids, presented by the Salvation Army, B101 and NBC 10
- Join Project HOME on Homeless Memorial Day, December 19th, and commit to joining the fight to end homelessness
- Order an adorable cat or dog 2014 calendar from Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and all proceeds will benefit Philadelphia’s homeless animals
- Volunteer or set up a food drive for Philabundance
- Visit the Coalition Against Hunger’s website for opportunities to prepare and deliver meals for seniors and families in need
- For more giving and volunteer opportunities, visit the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s Community Action Center List
- Keep giving into the New Year and participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 20th