Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo. While it has been celebrated as a Mexican-oriented holiday in the US, it's not that big a deal in Mexico. The day is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III. In Mexico, the day is celebrated in the state of Puebla with parades, speeches, and reenactments of the 1862 battle, though it is not much noticed in most of the rest of the country.
This Tuesday is also Giving Tuesday, or more correctly, GivingTuesdayNow.
GivingTuesday was created in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. It was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and right after 'Black Friday' and 'Cyber Monday,' two big Christmas holiday shopping days. It was established as a day that encourages people to do good.
Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement. In July 2019, GivingTuesday became its own organization, led by GivingTuesday co-founder, Asha Curran, as its CEO.
In response to the unprecedented need caused by Covid-19, GivingTuesday announced last month that it will sponsor GivingTuesdayNow on May 5th.
The campaign will aim to inspire donations and citizen engagement to support communities and nonprofits around the world. Communities and individuals are encouraged to help a neighbor, donate to charities, or take actions on behalf of first responders and frontline workers.
"As a global community, we can mourn this moment of extreme crisis while also finding the opportunity to support one another," GivingTuesday CEO Curran said in a statement. "We each have the power to make an impact with acts of generosity, no matter how small, and to ensure the sustainability of organizations and services that are crucial to the care and support of our communities."
By some measures, giving has accelerated as the coronavirus has spread. Rapid-response funds have sprung up, and wealthy donors, foundations, and everyday Americans are stepping up their giving.
The current COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on business has left more people seeking help from food pantries and other sources of free food than ever before.
While GivingTuesdayNow doesn't specify gifts to food pantries as the only charitable contribution suggested, it certainly seems an appropriate one given the current need.
There are many others, but among those organizations seeking to feed the hungry in our community are Christian Ministry of Lincoln County on S. Poplar St. just off E. Water St. in Lincolnton, East Lincoln Christian Ministry at 4278 Catawba Burris Road just off Campground Road in Denver, Dallas-High Shoals Christian Ministry at 305 E. Trade St. in Dallas, and Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry at 245 E. N Street in Newton.
Since the schools closed because of the virus, school systems in our area have been helping to feed children who normally get meals at school and who might go hungry without those meals as well as providing some additional food for families. Lincoln County Schools established eight drive-thru locations for parents to get meals for their children, etc. The central schools office on Jeb Seagle Drive is serving as a collection location for food contributions.
Whether you do it Tuesday or any other day this week, we urge all who can to give to one of these or other organizations helping to provide food for those who can't afford to buy what they need.
Whatever your opinion of the President or the Governor and how they have handled the COVID-19 crisis; whether you agree with the stay-at-home edict or think businesses should be reopened now; whether you are Democrat or Republican or other; whether you are Baptist or Methodist or Lutheran or Catholic or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu or atheist; the fact is that without help from those who are able, some of your neighbors may very well go hungry. GivingTuesdayNow is an opportunity to put aside differences and do something worthwhile. We are truly all in this together.