Give to the Cheer Fund on ‘Giving Tuesday’

Published 9:04 pm Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday has been a day-after-Thanksgiving tradition for many as long as I can remember.

Not for me, mind you — I don’t care for shopping at a normal hour of the day, never mind while the sun has yet to rise.

In recent years, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have joined the ranks of holiday-centered special days designed to pump up consumerism and encourage folks to spend more than they have on things they (and their friends and family) probably don’t need.

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This year, a group hopes to start a new holiday tradition — Giving Tuesday.

Just as the name implies, people are encouraged to use Giving Tuesday — the day after Cyber Monday — to give to a charitable or nonprofit organization, whether it be with money, time, talents or other resources.

If the idea takes hold, it will be a great antidote to counteract the ill effects the holiday season and its embarrassing consumerism — think fist fights in big-box stores — can have on all of us.

The folks behind Giving Tuesday hope it will become a tradition. Maybe donors will even finish their Christmas shopping early by giving to charity in honor of their friends and family.

The #givingtuesday hashtag has been spreading on Twitter and other social media. The website has hundreds of ideas for folks to give back. And even some retail outlets are getting in on the idea, most notably Simon Malls, owner of Chesapeake Square Mall and others across the nation, which has agreed to collect donations at guest services in each of its malls. The donations will benefit the American Red Cross and its own Simon Youth Foundation, which helps educate at-risk youth.

If you would like to participate in Giving Tuesday right here in Suffolk, the perfect way to do so would be to donate to the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund. The Cheer Fund collects donations for Toys for Tots, benefiting between 4,000 and 5,000 Suffolk children each year with new toys under the tree on Christmas morning.

Donations to the Cheer Fund can be made in honor of or in memory of someone, and donations are listed in the newspaper. To give, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to our office at 130 S. Saratoga St. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

No matter how you choose to give, whether it’s today or any other day, it’s a great way to spread some cheer this Christmas season.