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Black Friday, Cyber Monday and …#GivingTuesday

The holiday season is upon us. We know this to be the case because we are now being bombarded with the usual crush of holiday advertising imploring us to venture out into the world of stores, malls and online shopping sites in the hopes that we will all part with more of our money to buy more gifts for more people…

And we are being encouraged to do so earlier and earlier. Here in the US, the creep of holiday sales and seasonal advertising continues an inexorable march backwards from the end of the year: it is now common to see Christmas trees on display alongside Halloween decorations, and to hear holiday music now playing over in-store speaker systems in October. Can you see a future where the 4th of July marks the start of the holiday shopping season?

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Topics: #GivingTuesday

Pursuing Significance on #GivingTuesday

It is said that it is better to give than to receive. #GivingTuesdayreminded many of us exactly why: it helps us pursue significance and it brings out the best in people.

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Topics: #GivingTuesday

Relationship Rooted in Values: A man and his service dog

Right around the time LRN was introducing its support of #GivingTuesday, my brother’s service dog, Emmie, died suddenly, breaking a very special and important bond in my brother’s life. In 1991, my brother, Larry, became a quadriplegic.  You can read more about his journey here: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/03/quadriplegia.   For the last 10 years, Emmie has been a best friend, companion, and helper and brought immeasurable support, love, laughter and fun to my brother’s life and to our entire family.  You can hear Larry talk about Emmie’s impact on his life in this short excerpt from a NPR interview:

Emmie’s loss – and its effects – continue to impact us today.  
 
This is why I chose to support NEADS this #GivingTuesday.   NEADS, (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) (also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans), is a non-profit organization that was established in 1976 to provide canine assistance for people who are deaf or have a disability.  Today they serve combat veterans, children with disabilities, people who are deaf or have hearing loss, people with physical disabilities, children with autism, and the needs of the classroom, therapy and ministry.   
After the loss of Emmie, I have been reflecting on the relationship between Larry and Emmie and humans and their canine partners.  There are so many parallels to LRN’s work and our philosophy. These relationships are rooted in values:  relationships based completely on trust; relationships founded on hope and promise; relationships that allow people freedom from disability and freedom to live a life without restraint;  relationships that allow people to relate to the world in new ways; and most importantly, relationships about a deep purpose and mission: to allow humans to thrive and live their very best lives.  
There are many ways to give this #GivingTuesday.  This is merely my inspiration.  What’s your inspiration?
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Topics: #GivingTuesday

Black Thursday and #GivingTuesday

There is a battle currently being waged right in front of us and we are all involved. It is the battle for Family Values.

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Topics: #GivingTuesday

LRN Partners with #GivingTuesday, A Day of Giving on November 27th

Here in the U.S., Black Friday is the launch of the year's major shopping season. It's sandwiched between Thanksgiving and the weekend, so many Americans have the day off and use it to check off as many boxes as possible on their holiday gift lists. In the past ten years, this day has become enormously important to retailers—and to consumers, who anticipate major bargains. The following week also begins with what retail circles have begun to call Cyber Monday, when many office workers return to their computers and, presumably, buy online what they failed to get in person the previous Friday.

This year, the 92nd Street Y and several companies and charitable organizations have banded together to build a social movement as an alternative to these commercial campaigns. On November 27th, charities, families, businesses, and individuals are coming together for #GivingTuesday to transform the way people think about, talk about, and participate in the winter holiday season.

As an official partner, LRN will be supporting this meaningful movement. Our colleagues around the world see it as a celebration of the great global tradition of giving back and an opportunity to build on our “Act Locally” program, which supports individual community volunteer efforts. In LA, colleagues will be working with at-risk children and the homeless. Our London colleagues will be working at a youth and community center. Folks in Mumbai will be distributing food and movie tickets to poor children and providing traffic police and construction workers with dust masks. In New York, we'll be delivering nutritious meals to the elderly for City Meals on Wheels and helping to map out wheelchair-accessible spots around the city for AXS Map.

We're excited to be a part of this movement, which we believe is about more than just giving; we see it as a chance to inspire. We'll be sharing stories with friends and family about what we're doing and why it matters, setting a positive example, inspiring others, and seeking to build a wave and amplify whatever small difference we can make as individuals. Our CEO Dov Seidman set a great first example by writing about #GivingTuesday last week on forbes.com: "It represents precisely the kind of elevated mindset and ethic that can make the daring American journey our reality…" But this won't be the last you hear of it from us!

In the meantime, we hope that you will help to spread the word about #GivingTuesday and participate in your own way during the holiday season.

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Topics: #GivingTuesday

A Tale of Two Tuesdays: This Election Tuesday, I Look Forward to Another Tuesday

Originally appeared on Forbes.com

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Topics: #GivingTuesday