Giving Tuesday: A Refreshing Antidote to Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)

As the name suggests, Giving Tuesday is all about giving.

After the hedonistic mayhem that is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekend in-between, a day centred purely around altruism comes as a welcome palate cleanser.

Lemon sorbet anyone?

Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, a time of year when we tend to focus on our holiday and end-of-year giving.

It’s something we should be doing year-round, but by the time January rolls around we’re usually too caught up in work and deadlines to even think about being charitable.

That’s a discussion for another blog post, but something worth thinking about nonetheless.

The Duality of the Festive Season

The festive season is a weird time of year. It somehow manages to simultaneously bring out the best and worst in us. On the one hand, we’re all, “Get out my way, I must buy the whole mall before the world ends.”

This usually happens around 10pm on Christmas eve.

And then on the other, it renders us temporarily big-hearted and generous. Maybe it’s hearing Band Aid and Boney M on repeat, maybe there’s happy gas in the air, I don’t know.

It’s nice, though, whatever it is. Those who really need it often find themselves on the receiving end of an unexpected but very welcome pick-me-up, which is obviously awesome.

It also makes being human a little less embarrassing. Because let’s face it, we spend so much time making a mess of stuff, it’s nice to know we have it in us to do some good, as well.

How to Get Involved on Giving Tuesday

One of the best ways to get involved is by doing something in your own community. If you live in the States, you can search the Giving Tuesday website to find out what’s happening near you.

Those of you living elsewhere on the globe can take a similar approach using Google. You can find just about anything if you use the right search term.

For example, I typed soup kitchen + Cape Town and the search engine helpfully returned an impressive 8 160 000 results. At the very tippy top of that list was Ladles of Love, an organisation we volunteered with prior to untethering ourselves last year.

Their SEO elf is clearly on point.

Delving deeper, I searched for giving tuesday + charities and received a staggering 14 700 000 results for my efforts. Now I know which charities to donate to on Giving Tuesday.

Easy peasy, right?

Sometimes you’ll find cool stuff even when you’re not looking for it. Case in point: while researching editorial content for the Holidays last week I came across these Giving Tuesday email examples.

Now I have a little creative inspiration for our own Giving Tuesday newsletter.

Giving and Gratitude: A Killer Combo

I’m sure you’re not on the fence about Giving Tuesday, but here’s another excellent reason to get on board with it. Giving inspires gratitude and gratitude can change your life. In the best way possible.

Gratitude is the key to happiness. It also makes us healthier and more likeable. And that’s just for starters. We have so much to be grateful for, it’s astounding we need to be reminded of this fact. Unfortunately, humans are really good at focusing on what’s wrong.

I used to be the original Grinch when things didn’t go my way. Nobody wants to be around a pill and when you’re the pill it’s kind of hard to get away from yourself. Upping my positivity game seemed like the most practical solution.

Not surprisingly, I’m happier for it.

Make it a daily practice and you’ll soon realise why gratitude is so important for everything from your mental health and overall wellbeing to your success and recovery.

Go Out and Make a Difference

We spend so much time and effort looking out for number one —which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, taking care of yourself is super important— but we do need to spread the love a little more.

The gap between the haves and have nots is huge. Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to reduce it slightly. There are so many ways you can do that, too, from donating your money and volunteering your time to writing love letters and handing out happiness parcels.

How will you make a difference on Giving Tuesday?

Books That Pair Well with Giving and Gratitude

Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey by A. J. Jacobs

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Blue Zones of Happiness by Dan Buettner

29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker

Giving Tuesday Donation Update

giving tuesday

I’ve just spent a happy hour looking for charities to donate to in honour of Giving Tuesday. (In our house Sporty allocates the donation funds and I get to spend them. We’re both ridiculously happy with our respective roles.)

We’re not usually prescriptive about where in the world our money goes, just so long as it’s making a difference. However, this year we decided to take a local is lekker* approach and keep our Giving Tuesday efforts at home.

Why? I don’t really know, it just seemed like a nice thing to do. Plus, it does mean our donation money can make more of a difference because it doesn’t first have to be exchanged into USD.

*Lekker is an Afrikaans word that’s roughly translated as nice, but depending on the tone can also mean cool, awesome, not too bad or just okay. In this instance it means awesome.

These are the organisations we supported:


Seeing as how TEDx Cape Town launched my minimalist blogging career, it seemed only fitting that we continue to support their work. Buying tickets to one of their events —in this case TEDx CapeTown women 2018— we get to support their work and enjoy talks from a spectacular lineup of speakers.

You guys know how much I love a win/win, right!?


Greenpop is growing a Treevolution – a world where people and nature thrive together. The 100,000 trees they’ve planted so far provide daily benefits to 350,000 people in three countries. We decided to help their efforts by planting a tree for Sporty’s mom.

Nobody tell her, it’s a Christmas surprise.

Volunteer Wildfire Services

Wildfires are a problem in summer and these guys (who all have day jobs and do this for the love of it) do a stellar job of keeping our mountains, wildlife and us humans safe during this time. In addition to our regular monthly donation, we also support their work by taking part in the annual VWS trail run.

We’re the ones gasping our way through the ten kay route.

Farm Sanctuary SA

We often support the US Farm Sanctuary by adopting turkeys, etc., but this year we decided to support our local sanctuary instead. Based in Franschhoek, Farm Sanctuary SA plays host to a large contingent of farm animals, including Pigcasso, their fat, fabulous and oh so fine artist.

Ladles of Love

To date, Ladles of Love has served more than 168,374 meals to Cape Town’s less fortunate. In addition to the three soup kitchens they run each week, Danny, Kate and their team of volunteers also support local schools and sister organisations helping the homeless.