12 Amazing Ways To Give Back This #GivingTuesday

Remember when Christmas decorations didn't appear immediately after Halloween, and the entire season didn't seem to revolve mostly around buying stuff? No? Neither do we. It’s so easy to get swept up in the craze of finding the best deal on the perfect gift and beating everyone else to it, that we often end up with much more than we need. Believe us, we’re as guilty as anyone (yes, we all LOVE an excuse to shop) but Cyber Monday and Black Friday fever can get a little out of hand. In fact, since 2006 there have been at least 7 deaths and 90 injuries attributed to Black Friday. Everything from stampedes to stabbings, all in the name of bargain hunting. Not exactly the holiday spirit…

So while boycotting Black Friday and Cyber Monday is one great way to show your solidarity, why not take it one step further? If you've never heard of #GivingTuesday, unfortunately you’re not alone. Fortunately that’s about to change. Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, #givingtuesday is a “response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season” and offers an alternative to the mania of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday is, just like it sounds, a day dedicated to giving back, rather than shopping. So whether or not you wake up before the sunrise on Friday to stock up on discount electronics, Tuesday now offers an opportunity to get back to the spirit of the season.

Last year, the initiative raised over $27 million dollars for nonprofits across the country, and this year they hope to double it. Click through for 12 amazing and worthwhile ways to help #givingtuesday reach its goal!

[Cover photo via the Fashion Project]