People around the world have rallied to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in extraordinary, and heroic ways. Some work on the frontlines of our challenged health systems, caring for the sick and conducting vital research. Others are volunteering to take part in treatment or vaccine trials to help save lives. Still more are delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) to hard-pressed communities, stocking the shelves of supermarkets, showing kindness to strangers, or even just calling a friend, relative or neighbor to make sure they are ok.
That’s what #GivingTuesdayNow is for – to salute those who are giving so much and to give back in whatever ways we can.
GivingTuesday normally happens in November, on the first Tuesday after American Thanksgiving. It was created by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation as an alternative to the shopping frenzies of so-called “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” If holiday shopping had two days, why shouldn’t there be at least one day to do good and talk about what it means to give thanks and give back?
From the very beginning, we at the UN Foundation saw the beauty and potential of GivingTuesday, but honestly, I don’t think any of us envisaged the extraordinary global movement this would become. The day has become a celebration of community and collaboration, about how each one of us, no matter our circumstances, can give back in some way. It has gotten bigger every year, blossoming into a global generosity movement in over 70 countries, inspiring people to volunteer, donate, and perform countless acts of kindness. In 2019, GivingTuesday generated $2 billion in giving in the United States alone.
This year, COVID-19 is pushing every single one of our systems to the limit, with the most vulnerable people among us facing the most risk to lives and livelihoods. If ever there was a moment to come together for global unity, it’s now.
That is the idea behind #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5. It is an opportunity to give thanks to those extraordinary souls on the frontlines of this pandemic, give love to families and communities, and give support to charitable causes when possible.
Many have already given in so many ways, including to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which we launched in March to support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global public health response. Through the Fund, almost 300,000 people from dozens of countries and more than 140 leading companies from all over the world were able to be among the first contributors to the vital early work of WHO, such as bulk purchase and distribution of critical commodities, rapid training of health workers, and global coordination of work to find and test therapeutics and potential vaccines against the disease.
People from every walk of life have rallied behind the campaign – including artists and musicians around the world, like Queen and Adam Lambert. They have just released a powerful new version of “We are the Champions” in honor of the heroes among us who are working to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep the world operating during this time of crisis, with proceeds from the song purchases going to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.
A truly global threat like COVID-19 affects every person on the planet, and it’s an opportunity to come together as a global community. #GivingTuesdayNow serves as both an inspiration to do more, and a day of gratitude for those who have already done so much. #GivingTuesdayNow sends a message that every individual has an important role to play in fighting one of the biggest challenges of our time. Every act can make a difference.
Times like these show us how much we depend on each other – on the people who grow and harvest our food, the health care workers who keep us safe, the teachers who educate our children, the scientists who help us find solutions. We learn quickly how much we have to lose, and how much we have to gain when we act together.
We are proud that the UN Foundation helped light the spark of the GivingTuesday movement, and proud to continue our work in that spirit. Moving forward, we will continue our efforts to support the WHO, United Nations, and the global coordinated response to this pandemic. Let’s make this Giving Tuesday a true moment of global solidarity that galvanizes humanity against a common threat with a common purpose.
Every donation makes a difference. Support WHO’s life-saving efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by giving to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Donations made via Facebook will be matched up to $10,000,000. Through June 30, 2020, for every $1 you donate here, Google.org will donate $2, up to $5,000,000.