Harnessing the Spirit of Giving Tuesday Every Day: What Are You Thankful For?
Growing up in Charleston, West Virginia, many years ago, I vividly remember a typical Thanksgiving at our house. I would wake up to the warm smell of food being prepared in the kitchen by my late blessed mother. When I got up, I ate little to save room for later and headed out to play football with the neighborhood boys.
After this game, it was time to go home, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and wait for Santa to arrive at the end of the parade. That was my signal that the Christmas season had started. We would eat with family and friends, watch NFL football and play while my parents took well deserved naps after dinner. Both parents had full-time jobs and Thanksgiving gave them a slight break from their work routine. It is a joy to remember a loving family that always gave thanks for God, family, country and friends.
You can ask people what things they are thankful for and obtain a variety of answers. The Faces and Voices of Recovery noted that Thanksgiving allows us to take a moment and remember things we are thankful for such as a sense of safety, good health, faithful family, strong friendships, loving animals, job to work and a place to call home. It is important to remember what we must be thankful for in this world of continuous wants. Make a list of what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving, and you will be happier for it.
No matter what is going on through this tough year, according to a recent Reader’s Digest article, there are at least 61 reasons to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The highlights of this list include family, pets, holiday helping spirit, turkey, your best friend, children’s gratitude lists, football, peace and safety, your health, mom and dad, books, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Black Friday, freedom of speech, pumpkin pie and whipped cream, vaccines, and gratitude.
A Bruderhof blog notes five ways to practice gratitude. These are setting time aside each day to make a list of things you are thankful for and read this list over and over. Tell other people thank you when someone does something for you. Do not allow others that have a negative attitude affect your inner peace. Do not let anger, disappointment, failure and frustration rule your life. Seek to build daily gratitude between you and others. Be grateful for what you have in life.
At this stage of my professional career, it is all about helping people. Nonprofit professionals have a unique obligation to be effective. I am thankful that I have the health, energy and ability to make lives better through securing and redirecting gifts of time, talent and treasure from others. As professionals, we are on the bridge between those who need services, programs and assistance and those who have the means to assist. Never forget your responsibility and obligation. You have an organizational mission to uphold. Have personal gratitude that you are in this special position of service.
This Thanksgiving, I will be especially thankful for family, friends, colleagues, health, focus, work, church, sports, writing, cheerful outlook, donors, volunteers and life. Why are you thankful? Do not waste energy on negative vibes. Have an inner peace of caring for others and a cheerful outlook. We are blessed to work in a complex profession that collectively strives to promote philanthropy. I hope the spirit of Giving Tuesday resonates each day of the year. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.