Today is #GivingTuesday 2018!

Today is #GivingTuesday, a national holiday that comes after Thanksgiving to encourage us to become the philanthropist we all are meant to be! The leftovers have been eaten, and we’re already looking towards the next holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or just enjoy a few days off, we can agree that this is the season of giving. Before you fret over decorations or fill the stockings with care, let’s think about those in our community that needs our help.

What is #GivingTuesday? 

This event was created by Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact. “#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities, and organizations around the world… to celebrate and encourage giving.”

#GivingTuesday is in its seventh year and is a social media movement. In this day and age, social media is vital to getting the word out to our communities and beyond. It’s easy now to learn more about causes that you care about, and it’s even easier to donate what you can.

Thanks to giving platforms like DoTopia, giving is now trending across the globe. People want to help by donating money, time, or resources to causes that they care about. The goal is to spread the joy that is giving, not to mention helping those in need. It’s easy to get caught up in your own bubble. #GivingTuesday is a reminder that we can all create the hope and change that bring all of us together. Be a part of the movement and give today!

How Do I Choose the “Right” Cause?DoDollars are a philanthropic digital currency for giving.

This part can be overwhelming. On DoTopia alone, there are over 1.6 million charities to choose from. Luckily we make it easy to narrow down choices so that you can feel good about your giving. Simply enter your zip code, choose the causes you are interested in, and DoTopia will show you non-profits in your community. You can find more about ways to give here. Additionally, if you want to register your non-profit, you can do that here. Now let’s get out there and make this the best #GivingTuesday yet!

Minneapolis’ “Wall of Forgotten Natives”

Thanksgiving is here! For many, this means family gatherings, basting turkeys, and watching football. Thanksgiving is a beautiful occasion for loved ones to come together and remember why we have this holiday in the first place.

This holiday was established to remember the peaceful gathering of the early settlers and Native Americans, although historically it’s not that simple. Relations between colonists and Natives were usually met with violence, hate, and often death. For hundreds of years, colonists have been taking land and resources away from Native Americans, and this pattern has continued to this day.Image result for minneapolis encampmentThat’s why we thought it would be appropriate and timely to talk about the homeless encampment in Minneapolis, Minnesota, otherwise known as the “Wall of Forgotten Natives”. Not only that, but we want to provide resources so that you (yes, you!) can help.

What’s Happening?

According to the 2015 Wilder Research on Homelessness in Minnesota, Native American adults make up 8% of the homeless population, while only 1% of the total Minnesota population is Native American.

Over the past several months, homeless people have been living in tents along highway 55. What has started as a few tents has now grown into a village of over 300 people. Most of these people are Native American, many of them struggling with addiction. Three people in the encampment have already died due to overdose, as temperatures continue to drop. This encampment has gotten national attention, and is increasingly harder to ignore.

See the source image

Minneapolis Jacob Frey with Sam Strong at the future emergency shelter area, (MPR news)

There is some good news, though. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has been following everything closely and has promised shelter by early December  2018. There are plans to build an emergency shelter for these people near the encampment. This “Navigation Center” will provide not only housing but other vital resources such as counseling, treatment, etc. Sam Strong, the Red Lake Tribal Secretary, has donated an acre of his land for this “Navigation Center”. Frey seems to be working hard with these people in order to provide the safest options. Time is ticking though, and winter seems to have come early this year with degrees well below freezing.

How can we help?

There have been many organizations that have donated time, resources, and money to the encampment. Talk to your school, place of worship, or community center to set up a donation. Set up a food drive, or if you’d like to help groups already underway you can find them here. There’s also resources here to donate directly to Natives Against Heroine. It’s always the right time to help those in need, but now especially.

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