For years, Thanksgiving celebrations have often served as a precursor to the Christmas season. After eating copious amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie, we turn our focus almost immediately to buying Christmas gifts. The increasing popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday prove this cultural shift. The gratitude of Thanksgiving is quickly replaced by the insatiable desire for more: What can we get for a bargain?

#GivingTuesday is breaking this mold. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people across the globe celebrate generosity. Instead of hunting down the best deals, they donate to non-profits that are striving to make the world a better place. This spotlight on philanthropy kicks off end-of-year giving and encourages people to support charitable organizations.

Since its beginning in 2012, Giving Tuesday has been encouraging unprecedented generosity. Now, over 150 countries participate, and the United States alone raised more than $60.9 million for more than 7,200 organizations last year. We want that number to grow even more in 2018, and it can start right here in Warsaw.

Non-profits are the glue of our community. They serve the people who may otherwise be overlooked—people who are hungry, homeless, and lacking the resources to break free from poverty. The working poor is a silent group whose numbers expand monthly in our county. Empowering local non-profits that provide solutions to these problems is one of the most important things we can do.

Giving Tuesday offers us the opportunity to look outside of ourselves and pour into the community that has given so much to us. Organizations like Combined Community Services, Heartline Pregnancy Center, Housing Opportunities of Warsaw, and Cultivate Culinary School give people the resources they need to get back on their feet and restore their lives—whether that’s through food pantries, food-rescue programs, discounted living expenses, or discipleship and personal investment.

At 212 Media Studios, we work closely with multiple non-profits in our community. We’ve been given a front-row seat to all the work they do to make this community the best it can be, and we’re honored to be even a small part of their missions. As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, we’re challenging our fellow community members to step away from the materialism and instead embrace the spirit of Giving Tuesday by choosing a local non-profit to sacrificially support.

Whose lives will you change with your generosity?