Since 2012, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday is the kick off to the charitable season called Giving Tuesday. It was originally begun as a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy. As the world begins its mad dash to gear up for Christmas, Giving Tuesday encourages us to enter the holiday season with the right focus – a reminder and an opportunity to give where giving is needed most.
If you are reading this, you likely give to and support me or another missionary, either financially or prayerfully. And while your missionaries would definitely appreciate a financial contribution this Giving Tuesday, we wanted you to know that there are some other ways to give and show your support this Tuesday.
First off, let me speak to some non-financial ways of showing your support:
Send an email/letter to a missionary/ministry you know and let them know you are thinking of them, ask for prayer requests, etc.
Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is close at hand and trust me, your missionary misses people, so send them a note reminding them you are on their mind.
Volunteer to stuff and address envelopes for newsletters.
No one really enjoys stuffing envelopes, do they? I know I don’t, and you probably don’t either, but instead of paying someone to do this service for them, ask if you could take care of this for your missionary. December is a common time for missionaries to send a physical newsletter, so now would be an awesome time to offer help.
Introduce them to your friends/churches who might be interested in partnering in the ministry.
We love to talk about our ministry, ok maybe I just love to talk in general, but we want people to know what we are doing and we hope they will partner with us. The problem is, we don’t know everyone you know, so introduce us to your friends who you think might be interested in at least hearing more. No pressure included! I can’t emphasize how huge this can be. For me, personally, I have been overseas for 5 years, so I haven’t been able to make connections that you have. When missionaries are back for a visit, it may be great to set up a dessert and coffee night where you friends can all meet.
Go on a short-term team with your missionary partner (this won’t always be available, but if it is!)
Not every missionary has a short-term mission’s trip happening, but if they do, they could probably use help, so if you aren’t sure if they have one… ask! It will help your missionary and, I can guarantee, your life will not be the same after!
Offer places to stay or a car to borrow when they are visiting your area.
Most of us don’t have a house waiting for us when we come back to visit. If you have an extra room in your house or a car just sitting around, ask if we can use one while we are back.
Donate your airline miles, hotel points or rental car points.
Flights, hotels and car rentals are expensive. When your missionary is back visiting, travel is a guarantee, so offer them some help that doesn’t even technically cost you money.
Record a video of their family and friends and send it to them.
I just watched a video that was shared with me and while it made me sad that I missed a specific event, I was so happy to see my family!
In addition to those options, there are some financial options that would also show your support:
Send an extra gift to their ministry account.
This should be self-explanatory, but if it isn’t, well, sometimes we need extra money to cover taxes, unexpected expenses, etc.
Ask them for a wish list they have on Amazon, another site, or buy them a gift card for iTunes or Google Play (ask them which one).
Amazon is in a bunch of countries and you can easily purchase something for a lot of missionaries and they may already have some things in mind. A little gift to say thank you goes a long way. Whether it is a book, a subscription to an app/site or even more extravagant purchases like a tablet, whatever you give will be appreciated.
Send a care package of stuff your missionary misses (I’d ask what they miss before guessing.)
No matter where in the world your missionary is, they probably miss something from wherever you are. Shipping isn’t cheap, so ask them what you can send before you spend the money.
The bottom line is, if you feel so inclined, use Giving Tuesday as a reminder or excuse to show the missionary in your life that you care for them and appreciate the work they are doing. These are but a few of all the possible ways you could show your support. I hope this post can provide a jumping off point for you to go out there and give!
If you are a missionary and have been blessed in a different way, please share a comment. If you have blessed a missionary in a unique way, I’d love to hear those too!
*This blog was originally posted in 2017, but has been updated for 2018.*