Here's what you need to know about the global movement to give back on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—and its newest iteration being lead by kids.

By Maressa Brown
November 22, 2019

Everyone's familiar with Black Friday or what might be considered the biggest shopping day of the year. You might have also heard of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, two more opportunities to snag deals around town or online. Sure, patronizing local businesses and snagging 50% off baby gear is sweet, but if the annual, post-Thanksgiving sale blitz has felt overly materialistic to you, you're not alone. It's the reason the Giving Tuesday was created in 2012.

Here's what you need to know about the philanthropic movement and its newest iteration: Giving Tuesday Kids.

The Story Behind Giving Tuesday

Seven years ago, New York’s 92nd Street Y partnered with the United Nations Foundation to found Giving Tuesday as "a day that encourages people to do good." The global movement was meant to inspire people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity, and it has done just that by encouraging participants to spend the Tuesday after Thanksgiving getting out into their communities and taking action that gives back in some way.

According to website, "Giving Tuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe. We believe that generosity leads to greater civic participation and other pro-social behaviors. Our mission is to build a more just and generous world."

The Launch of Giving Tuesday Kids

This year, Giving Tuesday is announcing the debut of Giving Tuesday Kids, a global youth-led social change movement that’s all about encouraging young people to take action around the causes and people they care about most year-round and on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The latest iteration of the movement is spearheaded by a 12-year-old from California named Khloe Thompson who started her own nonprofit charity to help the homeless when she was just 6.

Other kids who are leading the charge as Giving Tuesday Ambassadors include Jakhkil Jackson, a 12-year-old from Chicago who founded his own nonprofit to raise awareness of homelessness and provide short-term solutions with “Blessing Bags,” which are filled with daily essentials and toiletries, and Ryan Hickman, a 10-year-old from Orange County, California, who at the age of 3 accompanied his dad to the local recycling center, decided he wanted to "just keep recycling" and turn it into a business called Ryan's Recycling.

Credit: Courtesy of Giving Tuesday Kids

How Kids Can Get Involved

The Giving Tuesday site provides a list of a variety of existing projects and ideas for  kids around the country. Participants might opt to reduce waste in their school's cafeteria, lead a recycling project like Ryan, replenish school supplies their teachers might have run out of, or "green up" their school by delving into resource conservation and energy use. A few more examples:

Feed the hungry: #HashtagLunchBag

Make healthy sacked lunches for people who are hungry and deliver them after school. Include a kind note and you’ll fill not only their bellies but their souls. Visit to get started.

Create a Giving Tuesday wall

Find a blank wall or place a large board in a public space. Write an instructions plaque reading: “Write your vision for a more generous world!” or “What will you do today to make the world better?” Let everyone fill in their notes and place them on the wall to showcase how their efforts to do good in a small scale can add up to something really big.

Make care packages for people experiencing homelessness

Think about your daily necessities, then consider that people experiencing homelessness might not have access to those items. Collect things like wipes, socks, deodorant, hand sanitizer, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottled water. Distribute these care packages after school to anyone who may want one.

A pointer from Khloe: "Remember to talk to the people who you’re helping - they have a story. Listening shows them that people do care and that gives them hope."

From now until Giving Tuesday on December 3, kids can learn more about how to Join the Movement by reading the Participation Guide for inspiration and project ideas, or by heading to (where you can also see the full list of the 16 youth ambassadors).


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