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Giving Tuesday: 5 Handy Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

Giving Tuesday is Dec. 1 this year. Here's how you can give back.

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Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has been a touchstone meant to unofficially “open the giving season.” After the shopping and sales madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday asks consumers to pause and reflect on growing the community and giving back. And it works. In 2019, GivingTuesday.org reported $511 million in donations within 24 hours in the U.S. alone. And that figure doesn’t include non-monetary donations this campaign inspires. 

This year, Giving Tuesday will take place on Dec. 1. Ready to participate? There are lots of ways to get involved on the Giving Tuesday website, from donating money to donating time to shopping with retailers who give back on your behalf. To keep it DIY, here are five handy ways to give back this holiday season.

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Give Your Time

Volunteering your precious time is an ideal way to make a difference in your neighborhood and learn more about issues affecting your community.

VolunteerMatch.com lets you check for volunteer openings in your area, sorted by skill set. There are even remote projects, allowing you to stay safe during COVID-19. For instance, Piedmont is looking for people to build dog houses for pups in need. The organization sends you the supplies and plans. When you’ve constructed the dog house, volunteers pick it up and bring it to a dog who needs shelter.

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Replace Your Mattress (And Build a Bed)

Buying a new mattress is definitely a personal improvement for your back health and sleep quality. If you buy from Leesa’s mattress, you’re also helping a family in need.

For every 10 mattresses sold, Leesa works with local partners to donate a made-to-order mattress for a child who needs one. Each mattress is made from high quality foam and designed at the perfect height for bunkbeds. Take it a DIY step further, build a princess or race car bed for kids.

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Donate Used Tools

How about starting a giving circle among your DIY friends and family? Workaid.com accepts donations of used hand tools, sewing machines, knitting equipment and heavy machinery. The donations empower people to learn trade skills that will help them find employment or establish small businesses.

Habitat for Humanity also collects tools as part of its Habitat ReStore program. They’ll sell your gently-used tools and use the proceeds to support building homes in poverty-stricken areas. You can also shop their ReStores before your next DIY project, knowing the proceeds are going to building homes and providing safe shelters.

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Shop with Amazon Smile

If you’re already ordering DIY supplies like glue guns, drills and plywood on Amazon, this is one of the simplest ways to give back.

Smile.Amazon.com has the same prices and products as regular Amazon.com. But when you shop on Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of the price of your eligible purchases to a charity of your choice. Some DIY-related charities include Girls Build, the Oregon-based non-profit that teaches girls ages 8-14 basic building and repair skills, and Habitat for Humanity in Tennessee. Your hammer purchase can help someone learn carpentry.

The Home Depot also takes giving back seriously. The big box retailer awards Community Impact Grants to registered nonprofit organizations to help fund community projects. It also provides Veteran Housing Grants Program between $100K to $500K. Know that buying your nails and lumber from The Home Depot supports these important causes.

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Donate Directly to a DIY Cause in Your Community

Cash donations make a huge impact on community projects and organizations. To find a DIY-based charity or non-profit near you, check this helpful map and note which organizations are asking for contributions this year. You may have to click around or think more nationally to find the cause that speaks to your heart, but we’re sure you’ll be inspired to help as much as you can. Giving back is good for everyone.

Megan Wood
As Commerce Affiliate Marketing Editor, Megan helps Family Handyman readers find the best products to make their lives better, easier, and more joyful. She's contributed to The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, SELF, Refinery29, and Wisconsin Public Radio. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find her walking her dog.

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