Giving Tuesday

And every other day of the week . . .

Today (December 3, 2019) is “Giving Tuesday,” a global event that started in 2012, according to this article at givingtuesday.Org. Of course there are several Facebook pages for the event (like this one, where you can list a cause and choose one or more to contribute to) and individuals and organizations are using social media to get the word out about their personal favorites. I’m going to do that here, and like they say on The Voice when naming finalists, “in no particular order.”

Personal Encounters

There’s not a Facebook page for this . . . but this is my favorite form of giving. Living in midtown and later downtown Memphis since 1988, I’ve had lots of opportunities to give to people I meet on street corners or even in my neighborhood. I know that many people don’t think giving money to beggars is a good idea, that they might spend it on drugs, or they don’t “deserve” it. But I believe that it’s not up to the giver to judge the situation of the one begging alms. Here’s a nice article, “The Biblical Case for Giving Cash to the Homeless” that I found online this morning. (I”m not promoting the source, but I liked what they had to say on this issue.)

St. John Orthodox Church

St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis is my parish. We do lots of outreach both to our neighborhood, our city, and worldwide. Currently our teens are raising money to go to Mexico next summer for a mission trip. But we also have a food pantry from which we are able to meet needs right in our neighborhood in midtown Memphis.

Alzheimer’s Association

There are many local organizations that are fighting Alzheimer’s, but you can make a safe donation here, at a national donation site. As many of you know, my mother and grandmother both died from Alzheimer’s, and in 2017 I published a memoir, Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s, about my relationship with my mother during her decline and eventual death from this disease. I’m a member of a group of over 150 authors who have published books about caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s and other related topics. Check out for some amazing books.

Holy Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery

For many years I went on regular pilgrimages to this amazing women’s monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan. I also studied iconography at Holy Dormition Monastery for several years.

Starting in an old farmhouse and a few “out buildings,” they have now built an amazing church. It’s a place for quiet, for prayer, for working with your hands, and for healing.

I’m sure there are thousands of other good places to give alms today and everyday. In my Orthodox Christian faith, we consider three arms of spirituality as important to our growth: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. I’d love to hear from readers for more suggestions for almsgiving on #givingtuesday and everyday. Thanks for reading.