UIC adds holiday for giving, instead of getting


Volunteers with the UIC Office of Sustainability and Tree Campus USA plant trees outside the Daley Library Nov. 7. #GivingTuesday participants are asked to share their service activities on social media. Photo: Timothy Nguyen/UIC News

Everyone knows the crazy deals of Black Friday and the web crashes of Cyber Monday, but there’s another holiday that’s gaining ground after Thanksgiving: #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday, held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is dedicated to charity work and helping others. Last year, more than 50 million people participated.

“GivingTuesday is an awesome match to who we are,” said Angela Larson, director of annual giving in the Office of Development.

“Whether we are saving lives, finding cures for diseases, teaching children or solving traffic problems, everything we do at UIC has a ripple effect on the community. Our students are tremendously interested in the mark they leave on the world.”

Anyone can participate by doing something small or big, from volunteering at local shelters to donating money to causes.

“When we give, we feel good,” Larson said. “If we all help, we solve a lot of social problems and it helps reminds us that we are not alone and isolated.

“So many people are behind their phones and behind their screens that it’s hard to connect. The day is about getting out there and connecting and making friendships.”

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr are good ways to spread awareness of #GivingTuesday by posting pictures of volunteer work with the tags #GivingTuesday or #Unselfie, Larson said.

Participants can also post their activities on the UIC Giving Tuesday website.

“The hashtag is for our community to all gather and disperse all over the area,” she said. “We can insert ourselves into the conversations other people are having. It’s easy and quick.”

Larson hopes #GivingTuesday will raise the importance of philanthropy in the modern age.

“When we think of philanthropy, we think about the billions of dollars being given away,” she said.

“Any individual can be a philanthropist and want to change the world through good work. We’re all individually powerful.”


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