If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter for the past few years, chances are you have seen the #GivingTuesday campaign. Started by the 92nd Street Y in 2012 as a response to rampant consumerism during the holiday season, Giving Tuesday takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, November 27th this year.
The movement is a celebration of giving back to local communities; Giving Tuesday is an invitation to kick off the holiday season with donations of either time or money to charities, organizations, events, and causes you care about. See this handy tool to find Giving Tuesday happenings near you.
Our List of 7 Super Causes
In the spirit of giving, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite causes that combine many of the things we love: games, learning, connectivity, using digital tools for change…the list goes on. We hope you consider donating to one of these causes or to one you feel passionate about this Giving Tuesday or any time throughout the year.
Without further ado, here’s our list of organizations and campaigns (many game-related, but some not) doing awesome things in the world:
1. Extra Life
When you sign up for Extra Life, you commit to play games on a day of your choice. You find friends and family to donate to your cause and recruit others to play with you. Then, all funds go to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. That sounds like a win-win situation to us!
With a perfect score from Charity Navigator (earned by just 1% of organizations) and over 50 years of supporting the educational and professional goals of young people in underserved and underrepresented communities, SEO is a solid pick. You can donate to the organization, which has a robust scholarship program for college students, or volunteer to mentor young people in your own community.
The AbleGamers Foundation makes gaming accessible for people with any kind of disability. They’ve used customized controllers, voice control technology, and eye tracking to help gamers achieve their goal of playing games. Each set-up is totally customized to its individual gamer. Their work is made possible by donations and fundraising. Learn more about how you can support their work.
The Organization for Autism Research applies evidence-based research on autism to the creation of practical, hands-on advice for parents with children on the spectrum. OAR also provides resources around self-advocacy and education for children and teens. Their signature fundraiser is the Run for Autism. there are lots of ways to raise money and get involved.
Like Extra Life, St. Jude Play Live is a great opportunity to play games for good. Anyone over the age of 13 can play games to raise awareness about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is helping to end childhood cancer and other diseases. You can choose to stream on Twitch, Facebook or other platforms or to play offline. Learn more about how to sign up, receive donations, and win prizes for a great cause.
Since we’re all about Minecraft here at Connected Camps, we couldn’t leave Block by Block off the list! Developed by Minecraft makers, Mojang, along with Microsoft and UN-Habitat, this collaboration integrates Minecraft into public space planning, getting community members more involved in the process. Block by Block has activated projects in more than 30 countries around the world to make communities safer, more sustainable, and more engaged. Donate directly to the organization and stay updated on their work.
Gamers Outreach works directly with young people in hospitals to help ease the loneliness, difficulty, and boredom of hospitalization. They serve thousands of children each year with their “GO Karts” (Gamers Outreach Karts): portable, medical-grade gaming kiosks used to bring gaming and entertainment to kids who can’t leave a hospital room. Donate today, or start a fundraiser for a hospital of your choosing.
Even if none of these causes tickle your fancy, we hope you’ll celebrate Giving Tuesday through your kind words or actions. Kicking off the holiday season with giving is a great way to create a most positive ripple effect.