November/December Ministry Ideas: Giving Tuesday

Soup being poured into a cup (monochrome)By Michael C. Mack

You know about Thanksgiving and the special shopping days that have become associated with it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now you can add another special day the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (November 29, 2016), a global day dedicated to giving back called Giving Tuesday.

“It’s a simple idea,” says the holiday’s official website, www.givingtuesday.org. “Whether you come together with your family, your community, your company or your organization, find a way to give back.”

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 by 92nd Street Y (www.92y.org) in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and has engaged more than 30,000 organizations worldwide. The 92nd Street Y is a Jewish cultural and community organization based in New York City.

This day of giving, which follows two days of getting good deals, has become a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Christian groups can leverage this day as an opportunity to support their causes and serve people around them in need. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media.

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A Multicultural Thanksgiving

Many churches in America are ministering to the growing population of refugees from around the world. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to help make refugee families feel welcome, and these opportunities can lead to sharing the good news. Here are just a few ideas from churches already holding multicultural Thanksgivings:

• Partner with local refugee organizations and agencies.

• Host a free celebration on your church campus for families.

• Invite people from various countries and cultures to share their own cuisines in addition to the typical American Thanksgiving fare.

• Have volunteers pick up refugee families and drive them to the event.

• Make gift bags for kids.

• Learn about the customs of refugee families.

—Adapted from Outreach magazine, “Plan a Multicultural Thanksgiving,” www.outreachmagazine.com.

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