Call it Baby Boomer nostalgia, but I kind of liked it when there was only one special day at the end of November (and early December). You know, Thanksgiving – family, food, football, and even a healthy dose of civil religion (see yesterday’s Special Edition).
Black Friday became a big deal sometime in the 80s. Small Business Saturday began in 2010. Cyber Monday showed up in 2005, and the first Giving Tuesday was in 2012. Plus, there’s Don’t Travel Unless You Have To Sunday. It looks like the Wednesday after Thanksgiving is still open if any of you want to claim it.
Remember when it was just Thanksgiving and then “shopping days ‘til Christmas” (Sundays excluded)? Those were the days.
I tend to avoid shopping at all costs all year, so I don’t have much use for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. But Giving Tuesday, something of an antidote for too much shopping, appeals to me.
GivingTuesday.org talks about “radical generosity,” and I am tired of the overuse of the adjective. Generosity is a good thing and, however, all and all “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
I am staying home on Black Friday, enjoying family on Small Business Saturday, traveling only as far as church on Sunday, and ignoring Cyber Monday. But I think I’ll do some giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
If you would like to be a giver on Giving Tuesday and don’t know where to give, I can offer two very good suggestions:
HUNTING PARK CHRISTIAN ACADEMY: Located in a tough neighborhood in North Philadelphia, HPCA “provides quality, Christian education to at-risk children from low-income families. We maintain a very low tuition with a good scholarship program so that Christian education can be accessible to the poor in our community. We have tutoring for students who enter the school behind their grade level. Our students have made great progress academically since implementing the Foundations & Frameworks material into our overall curriculum in 2006. And since most of our students are not raised in Christian homes, we do all we can to train them up in the ways of the Lord. Many of them have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time at HPCA and have come to know the Lord. Some students have been influential in bringing their parents to church.”
Becky and I know firsthand about the quality of work, the integrity of leadership, and the joy of service that marks HPCA. You can donate to this wonderful school here.
EYE LOVE AFRICA (John and Jess Cropsey): Today, the majority of people suffering with blindness are found in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and Southeast Asia, 8 out of 10 being needlessly blind. They simply lack access to affordable eye care.
The vision of Eye Love Africa (ELA) is to eradicate needless blindness in Africa. ELA’s mission is to empower Africans to be the hands and feet of Jesus for the blind.
Training is focused at the Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology (RIIO) where Dr. John Cropsey, Serge missionary, serves as the Director of Clinical Training and Global Ophthalmology. This is the region’s first and only residency training program for eye surgeons. Six residents are accepted per year into the four-year training program, meaning 24 young doctors will be in training as eye surgeons at RIIO!
I don’t care much for those other days after Thanksgiving, but Giving Tuesday is something worth remembering.