Consider a new holiday tradition this year — #GivingTuesday

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As many of us are making holiday plans and endless lists, businesses increasingly market their aggressive promotions of “Black Friday” for sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and “Cyber Monday” for online sales the following Monday.

Many of your neighbors are adding a new tradition – “Giving Tuesday,” which uses the hashtag — #GivingTuesday. It is a growing international movement that began in 2012. It is meant to be something of an antidote to the “buy, buy, buy” message overwhelming us and urging consumerism at this time of year. This gentle voice of encouragement for charity and generosity towards others can help bring positive change to our communities and our own lives. Last year, Giving Tuesday raised over $116 million in countries around the world. Here in New Mexico, donors gave nearly $300,000 to 110 nonprofits.

This year, Community Against Violence is one of those organizations. Consider joining this movement and support CAV on Nov. 29 through the website centerfornonprofitexcellence.org.

If you and your family are considering evolving your year-end and holiday traditions to include thinking about and planning ways to give resources (food, money, or gifts) or to volunteer time to those who are less fortunate, here are some worthy projects.

Donate food, volunteer time

Give time or donations to programs like Taos Feeds Taos’ Holiday Food Basket drive, which is in its 31st year (taosfeedstaos.org). Other year round programs include Shared Table, in its 22nd year, run by El Pueblito United Methodist Church; St. James Episcopal Church’s food pantry; or the North Central Food Pantry in Questa. CAV also provides food for families in emergency shelter and transitional housing, and food boxes to other program participants in need. The Men’s Homeless Shelter and the DreamTree Project are two other shelter programs providing food for residents and are in need of food donations.

‘Angel Tree’

Feel the heartwarming spirit of giving through CAV’s 20th annual “Angel Tree” by going to our main office at 945 Salazar Road in Taos and choose “Angel” cards listing individual (anonymous) children’s needs and holiday wishes. These families are struggling financially in the aftermath of violence and don’t have the means to provide their children with needed items or gifts. Last year, CAV’s Angel Tree matched over 500 donors with families and children in need.

Honor, memory gift

If you are looking for a unique and thoughtful gift for a friend or loved one, consider making an honor or memory gift to CAV, who will then send a card to the recipient letting them know that a gift was made in their honor.

‘We Support CAV’

In keeping with the campaign to shop local whenever possible, shop and eat at local businesses displaying the “We Support CAV” posters. They are sponsors of CAV services for people who are dealing with the aftermath of sexual or domestic violence. These businesses are helping to make our community a better place. (See taoscav.org under “About” for a complete business sponsor listing.)

‘Amazon Smile’

For holiday online shopping, remember CAV is part of the “Amazon Smile” program. To support services to your family and neighbors, choose Community Against Violence at smile.amazon.com. Then every time you shop at Amazon, they will donate 0.5 percent of your eligible purchases to CAV.

Evolving your traditions to include charitable giving improves our community. By each of us giving our time and resources, together we all produce results that are bigger, more meaningful and more effective than anything we could possibly do alone.

Williams is executive director of CAV, which offers free, confidential support and assistance for adult and child survivors of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, community and school violence prevention programs, re-education BIP groups for domestic violence offenders, shelter, transitional housing and a community thrift store. For more information, call CAV’s 24-hour hotline at (575) 758-9888 or go to taoscav.org.

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