This past weekend, my husband and I did what we normally do this time of year and with the same level of trepidation from one year to the next. We ushered ourselves into the car and drove to the mall to commence the annual, dreaded Black Friday holiday shopping. Although I’d never personally experienced giving or receiving a black eye in the name of retail, I’d heard the reports on the news and braced myself for the worse. In fact, I deliberately wore my sneakers in case my husband and I found ourselves fleeing an overzealous mob of shoppers!
My patience for such a dynamic proved short-lived, and I quickly settled for sitting in the parking lot in my car contemplating my family’s receptivity to the idea of canceling Christmas! Of course, the thought initially came to me out of frustration. However, it led to a deeper, more thoughtful consideration of consumer culture, our financial rituals, and the battle we’re willing to wage all in the name of 30 percent off.
Four years ago, the 92nd Street YMCA in New York and the United Nations Foundation joined forces to create #GivingTuesday, a one-day annual movement focused on charitable giving during the holiday season.
The thinking was, if there is a Black Friday and a Cyber Monday, why not a Giving Tuesday? Since then, #GivingTuesday has expanded into a worldwide movement for philanthropy. In its fourth year, #GivingTuesday saw the biggest increase in donations yet, growing from $45.6 million in online donations in 2014 to a whopping $116.4 million in 2015, according to information compiled by Impact Lab.
In celebration of #GivingTuesday this year, we at PBI don’t want you to give us money.
We want you to help us keep more of our tax dollars in our communities by establishing public banks across the country.
With public banks we can improve our education system, rebuild our roads, provide support for small businesses, protect our pensions, provide critical community services, and much more.
Your gift to PBI is, in fact, a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your neighbors…
Help us reach our goal of raising $5,000 by midnight tonight and be sure to stay tuned for round two of my holiday shopping saga!
Shara Smith, Chief Operating Officer
The Public Banking Institute