Mayfield: Giving Tuesday is your chance to make a real difference

Nov 28, 2023, 11:35 AM | Updated: 3:32 pm

(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)...

(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Open your email, listen to those voicemails, check your DMS or your text today, and it is tough to miss. Every nonprofit out there is reminding you that today is Giving Tuesday.

It’s a holiday that started back in 2012, as just a hashtag on social media. It was an attempt at the time to divert some of your spending from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to help others.

More from Travis Mayfield: How I learned to fall asleep by embracing the worry

It has grown into one of the single biggest donation days of the entire calendar year for many charities. But this year, it could be a day that makes or breaks a lot of not-for-profits.

This morning, the Associated Press is reporting that donations are way down across the board. In previous years, organizations have made Giving Tuesday the extra gravy to their Thanksgiving meal, so they have room to breathe. But not this year — they do not have room to breathe.

At the same time, the need has grown exponentially. Visits to food banks across the country are way up. Locally, at the University District Food Bank, for example, the Seattle Times reports that demand is up 47%. That’s just compared to last year.

Eviction rates at the same time are climbing as well. Pandemic aid has dried up, rents are going up, inflation is climbing, and homelessness rates are up 11% year over year, that’s nationwide, according to The Wall Street Journal.

I could go on and cite more and more stats, but the point is, the number of people and families who need help is greater than it has been in a long time.

This leads me back to Giving Tuesday. You’re going to hear these stories of need and say a prayer of thanks that it isn’t your family, and that’s a beautiful thing. But if that is you, this message is for you, please put that prayer on the memo line of a check or in the message bubble while you’re filling out an online donation pledge sheet.

Think for a moment about how grateful you are, and then try to share some of that gratitude with a charity or two that you believe will make things better. It might be a food bank or an organization helping the unhoused. Or maybe it’s a grief support group or a shoestring arts organization. Maybe it’s all of them, today is the day to do it.

Because today, a lot of charities have rich donors willing to match the amount of money you’re donating. So it could double or triple what you’re giving. And if you work in the tech sector (or any number of companies really), you can also get them to match your donations.

So think about that, and do the math really quickly. If you gave today, you gave through your company, they doubled it. And then a nonprofit donor tripled that amount. That makes a difference.

If we all gave a little more this year, knowing the need is much more, than we could make a real difference.

So, spend some time today looking at those emails. Listen to those voicemails, read your DMS and texts from the nonprofits that you know and interact with.

And please make a donation.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Would You Eat Meat Rice?

Has anything ever sounded more gross than “Lab Meat Rice?” It looks worse than it sounds too. Jack & Spike try to figure out why anyone would make something like this. Sure, it’s ethically sourced, but really? Lab meat? Tune in live to The Jack and Spike Show weekdays from noon to 3pm on KIRO […]

1 hour ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: LibsofTiKTok Embarasses Herself

Have you heard of LibsofTikTok? Well, it’s not a TikTok account… it’s a Twitter account, and it’s pretty popular. Chaya Raichik, the founder of LibsofTikTok, essentially reposts video clips of gay or trans people and makes fun of them. Yup, she’s kind of a bully. Jack Stine & Spike O’Neill react to a clip from […]

3 hours ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Unpopular Opinion: Loving the HOA

Spokane has a junk car ordinance that can be cited if it’s offensive to neighbors, and Gee is all for it! Listen to The Gee and Ursula Show every weekday from 9am – 12pm on KIRO Newsraio 97.3 FM.

4 hours ago

Flying First Class can be a special experience. (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty...

Jack Stine, KIRO Newsradio

Jack Stine: We all deserve to be First Class

Regardless of where you are on the plane, you deserve to be treated like you are in First Class.

11 hours ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Sleeping Through Your Alarm Is The Worst

When was the last time you slept through your alarm? For Dave Ross, it was the other day (the first time since 1992, maybe). The Seattle Morning News crew discusses what Gen Z calls “Time Blindness.” Listen to the Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO […]

11 hours ago

Image: Beyoncé performs at a Get Out the Vote concert for Democratic presidential candidate Hillar...

Angela Poe Russell, KIRO Newsradio

Angela Poe Russell: Beyoncé’s controversial country hit is glossing over the bigger issue

Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood haven’t had a No. 1 single on their own. It just feels like something is off. And, it is.

15 hours ago

Mayfield: Giving Tuesday is your chance to make a real difference