Grateful for Blue Friday, Small Business Saturday, and #Giving Tuesday
We hope you all enjoyed a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving Day with family and friends yesterday. Traditionally today is the day everyone rushes out to the store to snap up their Black Friday deals. Though these days we might also order our deals online. Either way, we’d like to suggest a different perspective on the day after Thanksgiving, and the days following. One that will keep the “grateful” vibe of Thanksgiving lasting long past Thursday.
Many of us have four full days of no work, and all play. Would you rather spend that time fighting with hundreds of other people, for that bag (that you don’t really need), that extra pair of shoes (that you might wear occasionally), or the latest gadget that you can certainly get along without? Or would you rather be in the fresh air and the beautiful sunshine (which is now forecast to be with us all weekend), cruising along the water at whatever pace you prefer (wind allowing of course)? We know what we choose; we’d rather be sailing. Which is why we’re calling today “Blue Friday.”
But aside from its being our way of saying, “Let’s all go sailing instead of shopping,” did you know that Blue Friday is an actual designated day?
“Blue Friday is an initiative pioneered by a group of small businesses as an alternative to Black Friday. All participating businesses pledge to donate a percentage of sales from Blue Friday to support ocean conservation projects. At Blue Friday we understand you can’t just stop buying things. ‘Black Friday’ is as much about accessibility for some as it is about overconsumption for others. Our mission is to change the conversation and give people the ability to still shop and also make a positive impact.”
What they’re saying is you can still go shopping, but by shopping through the Blue Friday partners, you can also make a difference to our oceans, which are, of course, our playground. According to the Blue Friday website, they have so far raised $66,400 for ocean conservation projects.
That takes care of Friday. Now, what about the rest of the weekend?
Well, if you still want to go shopping, how about supporting your local stores for Small Business Saturday? The US Small Business Administration cites it as “a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.” Yes, we know we just said don’t go shopping, go sailing instead, but the reality is that shopping is here to stay, in one form or another. Let’s just say we can think about how we shop and the impact we make with our choices.
That brings us to #Giving Tuesday. You may have heard of this one in recent years. #Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a day that encourages people to do good. Before today, this writer thought #Giving Tuesday was all about making donations to a charity or nonprofit. There’s much more to it. The idea is to give in whatever way you can, “whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor out, or showing up for an issue or people we care about, we each have something to contribute.” That said, we don’t all have the means or the temperament to walk up to someone and say, “Let me help you with your problems.” (Though we could offer to take them sailing, which has as good a chance as anything else of helping.) For those of us who prefer to give financially, there are many Bay Area organizations that set up a #Giving Tuesday event with the express purpose of collecting donations.
Here are a few organizations that we know are participating in this year’s #Giving Tuesday: California Academy of Sciences, Call of the Sea, Make-A-Wish (perhaps someone has a wish to go sailing), and Save the Bay. Or contribute to your favorite youth sailing organization.
There are many more organizations that will be grateful for your support. You can find a list of Bay Area organizations here: Give Where You Live.
That’s all from us on this topic. However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving weekend, we hope you have fun and stay safe (and well), and that you get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, especially on the water.