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Working Global, Giving Local

Originally published October 26, 2012, on InterAction’s blog.

When I talk about donating, volunteering or supporting a cause, I often get the perplexed response, “But you already work for a nonprofit.” My answer is always, “So?” Yes, I do communications work for InterAction. I try to share the stories of people halfway around the world, who I’ll never meet, and I hope that the work I do makes an indirect positive difference in their lives. But just because I chose a job whose ultimate goal is helping others doesn’t mean I should ignore other ways that I can make a difference.

Because so many of my coworkers feel the same, InterAction will be participating in #GivingTuesday and not just promoting it. While we’ve got nearly 200 amazing member organizations working in every corner of the world, we didn’t want to favor one over another, so we decided to give locally instead. A few weeks ago, we got a small group of staff together and brainstormed about what we could do.

Our first idea was a blood drive, but unfortunately too many of our staff were ineligible to donate because of exposure to various bloodborne diseases from past jobs. (We were bummed, we really liked that idea! Hopefully it’ll be a popular option in other offices.)

We ended up deciding to do a food drive for a local organization, Martha’s Table, which provides nutrition, education and family support services to fight the immediate effects of poverty. They do great work in the D.C. community, including school feeding programs, and we’re going to keep a collection box in our reception area the entire month of November. If you happen to be coming to InterAction for a meeting, you’re more than welcome to participate. We’ll also be helping coordinate a series on the Huffington Post’s Impact blog about #GivingTuesday starting November 1. We’ve got 48 InterAction members and 16 nonmembers contributing, and we’ll be tweeting the blogs out, so keep an eye on our Twitter feed!

And if you’re interested in getting your own organization to do a #GivingTuesday event but aren’t sure what to do, check out to kickstart your conversation.


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