‘Tis the season to be spending. Here in the U.S., early stats point to a whopping $17 billion generated in Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales. That’s about 20% more than last year. And that doesn’t include the billions more in revenue anticipated from sales at traditional brick and mortar stores. Thanksgiving, it seems, has become the gateway to our collective holiday buying frenzy. Thankfully (pun intended), there’s an antidote to the retail rush. An opportunity in the midst of the spending season to consider the needs of others and redeem the spirit of Thanksgiving. Today is GivingTuesday. Created in 2012 as a day to encourage people to do good, GivingTuesday is a sound investment in community — a global generosity movement.
Inspired by GivingTuesday, hundreds of millions of people transform their communities and the world by giving of their time, talents and resources each year. More than $400 million was raised online in the U.S. last year under the GivingTuesday banner. This year, nearly 200 distinct community campaigns organized around the country. And around the world, thousands of nonprofits, small businesses, brands, schools and religious organizations celebrate this global day of giving.
GivingTuesday is a powerful way to share what we have with those who have little. Whether that’s in your local community or a far away place where needs are great, GivingTuesday is a sound investment. Here are a few of the organizations I’ll be supporting on GivingTuesday. How will you join the movement?
Christians in Iran are paying a high price for their faith. Routinely, they lose their jobs, are detained, imprisoned or exiled, and some are tortured or even killed. Mounting political unrest, punctuated by demonstrations against the regime, has made circumstances even more dangerous for followers of Jesus. Yet the Christian church in Iran is the fastest growing church in the world.
Elam Ministries was founded to serve the growing church in this region. It trains ministry leaders, sends Farsi-language Bibles and other resources into the region, and produces content for Christian programming broadcast via satellite TV. Click here to learn how you can partner with Elam this GivingTuesday.
Horrific humanitarian crises of the 21st Century have played out in the conflict zones of Myanmar and Syria. Since 2017, more than 671,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the Rakhine State of Myanmar to escape ethnic cleansing at the hands of Burmese security forces. Syria’s bloody civil war has raged for nearly a decade now. In the most recent developments, some 300,000 Syrians were displaced by a Turkish invasion of northeast Syria in October.
In both situations — Myanmar and Syria — Partners Relief and Development has stood in the gap. When most international aid agencies and government entities left northeast Syria, Partners remained to set up kitchens and relief centers for the displaced victims. Despite lethal shelling by Turkish forces, the organization continued to distribute blankets, sleeping pads and other items. In Myanmar, Partners continues to provide food for those displaced by conflict. The organization invests in better healthcare, education, and farming practices in communities recovering from decades of war. Read more about how to help Partners help desperate people in conflict zones.
21Wilberforce is a Christian human rights organization dedicated to defending the universal rights of religion, belief, and conscience for all people. It works to empower people to collaboratively support persecuted communities, challenge repression, and expand freedom of religion and belief globally.
21Wilberforce has developed a variety of programs to equip persecuted groups and their leaders with resources, training and the tools they need to defend against harassment, intimidation, discrimination, and repression. The group’s online Freedom Center platform offers practical tools to help embattled believers and advance religious freedom worldwide. Among other things, your support on GivingTuesday will help 21Wilberforce:
- Train persecuted groups around the world to advocate for themselves
- Challenge unjust laws and social hostilities, including through anti-genocide campaigns
- Advance religious prisoner releases
Learn more at https://21wilberforce.org/give/