We all know – for better or worse – what Black Friday is.  And many of us, especially at our school, are becoming familiar with “Small Business Saturday.” And “Cyber Monday?”  Yup, we’re familiar with that too.  But what about “GivingTuesday?”  Amidst all of the encouragement to consume, GivingTuesday is the day when we are called to open up our wallets for a different reason.  The point behind today (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), while building off of the same holiday spirit and momentum as the other days, is to offer up the opportunity to support philanthropy in the U.S. and, well, give.

Donating to nonprofits and issues that we know and love is something that is growing in popularity for many good reasons.  During this time of year, it is especially timely to spur on the idea of giving a monetary gift to a nonprofit organization as many donors look forward to the tax deduction by the end of the calendar year.  At the heart of today, however, is knowing that your gift really, truly makes a difference not only for the organization that you support, but also in the larger community effort to shift gears away from consumerism and materialism toward a culture of giving a gift (or many gifts) that means a LOT to both the donor and the nonprofit.

Earlier this month I made my annual contribution to an organization that I volunteer with and it felt, well, painful.  My pain was only an uncontrolled, knee-jerk reaction connected to my own consumerist tendencies – I could buy a whole lot of food, toilet paper, coffees from the Night Kitchen with this money.  Then I thought about the incredible work that the organization that I was supporting does, day in and day out and I was overcome with another feeling – pure joy.  Simply put my heart was full because I know that my contribution that was very significant to me would also be significant to this nonprofit.  My donation would be counted together with (hopefully) many other donations toward much needed and highly valued activities of this group: media-making to tell the stories of poor and low-income people in Philadelphia or it might just go toward keeping the lights on for this organization.  It made me feel great just knowing that no matter what size it is, my donation was valuable to them.

And now, this GivingTuesday, I am looking forward to writing my check to our dear school.  The WSP provides my children and my family with many necessary and vital lessons, memories, information, knowledge, and experiences that I am happy to support.  My partner and I have made the choice to send our children here, just as many other parents and families, and we’re glad that we did.  Please join me and millions of others in the U.S. today by making a donation to The Waldorf School of Philadelphia – a nonprofit school organization that we all know and value.  And if even if you don’t make your gift today, there’s still time between now and December 31, 2013 to have your gift count for the current calendar year for tax purposes. Tax-deductible gifts of any size – none are too small or too large – can be made either by sending a check to the main office or securely via PayPal.

Thank you so much for your continued support in so many ways of our wonderful school.  We hope you can give a gift that makes you feel the collective joy of sustaining something that means so much to you and your family.

Allison Budschalow – Director of Development, The Waldorf School of Philadelphia