Yes, we did just mark the traditional day of altruism this past December 3. Only five months ago – but so much has happened since then, and we are living in exceptional times. This new Giving Tuesday comes as an emergency response to the explosive need resulting from COVID-19.
There will still be a Giving Tuesday this year, scheduled for December 1. But times are tough now.
Giving Tuesday presents a great way to donate to the charities you know and love. Many non-profits are matching donations dollar for dollar so you can double your impact.
There are a lot of great causes out there. These are a few of our favorites.
AID Atlanta – AID Atlanta has been providing HIV/AIDS-related services, care, and education since its inception in 1982. Today, it continues to serve the community through testing, prevention and care as well as education. This one's for you Jon Santos! Dad's Garage – Your favorite improv theater is streaming all the laughs. The arts have been hit hard, though. You can straight up donate, or, think about giving the gift of laughter to someone who could use it. Emory University – Emory's doctors, nurses, researchers, and countless other professionals are working tirelessly searching for a cure, treating patients, and supporting the efforts to end this pandemic. Flux Projects – Producing temporary public art projects that connect and grow artists and audiences in Atlanta through the creative power of place. We've been loving the weekly virtual art projects that this amazing organization posts for free. Helping Mamas – As the sole baby supply bank in Georgia, Helping Mamas has pivoted its bare-bone staff to accommodate the explosive needs of families during COVID-19, including distributing 64,812 diapers and 90,564 period products in just under four weeks. That's compared to just one-third as many in March and April of 2019. Hillels of Georgia – Hillels continues to provide a safe haven for Jewish students on campuses throughout the state, and now, creatively connecting through virtual programming. Second Helpings Atlanta – These fine folks who rescue surplus food from grocery stores, retailers and restaurants are stepping up, not only picking up on average 100,000 pounds of excess food every 22 days, but also delivering thousands of prepared meals weekly.
If you're not in the position to give money, there are a lot of ways to donate time to those who are less fortunate. Call someone who is lonely. Get groceries or have dinner delivered from a restaurant to someone who is hungry. Buy your friends and loved ones protective gloves and surgical masks to make sure they stay safe.
Of course, we recommend that you always shop local. Need some suggestions? We are crazy about Bill Hallman's uber fashionable masks. We can't get enough of Little Tart Bakery's quiches, scones and croissants. We love, love, love Osono Bread. And we've been social distancing at the Community Farmers Markets to pick up all the fruits and vegetables that are fresh in Georgia. We mentioned our pal Frank Reiss's A Cappella books last week – shopping with him is better than Amazon! Place the order, pull up in your wheels and he'll carry the books right out to you.
In other news, today is also Cinco de Mayo, when we would normally find Mexican restaurants packed with tequila-swilling revelers. Since we're not living in normal times, several area eateries are offering DIY Fiesta Kits complete with all the taco fixings for your family. Like Easter and Passover last month and Mother's Day THIS Sunday, we still have cause to celebrate, we're just doing it differently than we used to.
Some sad news before we wrap: Curbed Atlanta, the beloved news site known for scooping Atlanta's real estate, architecture, design and urbanism, has shut down indefinitely. We'll miss you, Josh Green.
On an inspiring note, the AJC recently reported that College Hunks Who Move Junk is providing free moving service for domestic violence victims to find safe haven.
And so, since we all remain glued to our screens for most of our social interactions, we leave you with our current favorite Instagram obsessions -- in no particular order: Padma Lakshmi, Yacht Rock Review, Jill Kargman and John Krasinski's SGN. You're welcome.
As we continue to wade through the muck to find you inspiring stories, consider that maybe we didn't need to consume as much as we did before COVID-19 took it all away. Perhaps a slower, simpler life was in order. Maybe it took clipping our wings to fall back in love with being at home, along with nothing to do and nowhere to go, to prompt us to talk to our neighbors once again.