As today is Giving Tuesday, and also three days since the end of Movember, I wanted to take a few moments to look back at Movember 2019, and share some thoughts about giving.
As my previous blog outlined, this year was the 14th that I’ve supported the Movember Foundation by growing a moustache and trying to complete more physical activities during the month than I usually do to help change the face of men’s health. This year I set myself a target of personally raising £1,000 and for SUSE’s Hairy Green Chameleons to raise £2,000. I also aimed to run 60km throughout the month to represent the 60 men that die every hour of every day by suicide around the world, and I’m very proud to have met and exceeded these. I also had a little fun by dying my moustache in a variety of colours, which didn’t impress my teenage son!
Black Friday, Black Saturday, Black Sunday…
Many people feel down at times throughout the year, but often as the winter months roll in, the days get shorter, there’s less sun around and the holiday seasons start to ramp up, this can become much worse. Being bombarded by constant adverts for the toy that your children absolutely must have, the latest big screen TVs, upgrade options for your cell phones and the encouragement to take out loans or credit cards to fund this orgy of consumerism piles on the pressure. When this is combined with the imagery of the perfect holiday celebration that is shown in magazines, adverts, TV shows and films, it can sometimes become too much and people start to look for a way out.
This holiday season, give a hug
While you’re rushing around getting yourself ready for the holidays and planning your celebrations, stop occasionally to look around and speak to a friend – offer a hug, a beer, a glass of wine, a cup of tea, a coffee, a friendly ear and shoulder to cry on if need be. Look out for your work colleagues, male or female, and have a sensitivity that the holiday season doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Maybe that person that isn’t quite getting into the spirit of things recently divorced, lost a loved one or associates this time of year with bad memories. Before labelling them a Scrooge, put yourself in their shoes and ask them if everything’s ok.
Giving Tuesday was set up as a global day of giving. A day to donate, to phone a friend, to campaign for something, to volunteer somewhere, a day to finally stop in the street and have a chat with that homeless person that you always bustle past ignoring – buy them a coffee, perhaps. Sometimes, the gift of time is more precious than money.
This Giving Tuesday, what will you do? If you’re lost for ideas, then the Internet can offer you a wealth of opportunities. If you’re based in the UK, you could volunteer for Crisis, the homeless charity. You could donate just £28.87 to pay for a place for one homeless person to go to a Crisis shelter for food, checkups and more. Outside of the UK, you could donate to support the work of Medicins Sans Frontieres, help children around the world by donating to UNICEF, or just make a donation to support the SUSE Hairy Green Chameleons’ Movember efforts.
The options are almost limitless, but whatever you do could and will make a difference to someone’s life. Hopefully the photos of my colourful moustache will put a smile on your face, and inspire you to make a difference to someone else.