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Giving Tuesday: good to be reminded

A gift is a gift, ordinarily. A gift comes spontaneously, when someone wants to give what they want to give and to whom.

Today is Giving Tuesday, which has grown up in the last decade along with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. It may seem like an artificial way to remind people to be generous, and it is. Designating a day to do something for others makes sense, however, in the same way as Mother's Day or Father's Day. Sometimes it is good to be reminded.

Except for Giving Tuesday, all the designated "days" that now follow Thanksgiving are commercial. Their purpose is to stimulate holiday spending at nationwide chain outlets, local Mom-and-Pops and online, in that chronological order. Spending our way into a boost for the economy and seasonal job creation has become one of America's holiday traditions.

Giving help to those who need it is a much older tradition of the holidays. The force behind Giving Tuesday is the nonprofit human services, cultural, religious and civic groups that know who is in need and how to help. This Tuesday gets their message out there — with luck, before all the consumer cash has already been spent on electronics. Donations on Giving Tuesday give nonprofit agencies a year-end boost and add some predictability and stability to their pass-through finances as they assist with food, heat, clothing, health needs, housing and quality of life.

We heartily recommend our readers give Giving Tuesday consideration on behalf of local nonprofits working in Southeastern Connecticut all year long. Many of them employ the heroes whom we honored with hearts and thank-you signs during the months of the pandemic. This is a way to make that appreciation concrete.

This year, The Day is joining in an effort by local media around the country to use philanthropy to help fund coverage of such needs. The newspaper is raising funds to conduct an investigative project into economic mobility in our region, starting with housing. The project will include stories in print, video and podcasts. Funds raised will be used to cover the costs of staffing, travel, software and equipment for the project.

Giving Tuesday will kick off the fundraising, with a goal of starting the project in mid-2022. The nonprofit Local Media Foundation will be the recipient of the tax deductible donations on The Day's behalf at https://givebutter.com/thedayhousing. The Day can accept donations directly, but because the company is not a nonprofit entity that support is not tax deductible for the giver. Donations will be accepted with no strings; donors will not be involved in or influence the project in any way.

Some may question whether The Day is in effect competing with local agencies by joining in Giving Tuesday. That is not the intention. The region's nonprofits have come to value the company not only for the Bodenwein trust proceeds it distributes among them annually but even more for the light our reporting shines on the issues that concern them the most. With investigative reporting The Day can do more than ever for the community.

Today is a good time to express appreciation and support to whatever nonprofit organizations you admire for their work on behalf of others. Give Giving Tuesday some thought. 

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Managing Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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