Giving Tuesday: Thanksgiving’s Final Event

Thanksgiving has evolved into a multi-day event that gives us a license to temporarily lose self control. 

For many of us, the festivities start the night before Thanksgiving. Friends and family gather for an event commonly referred to as “Blackout Wednesday”. Thanksgiving Eve is believed to be the biggest drinking night of the year. What’s better than going out on a school night knowing you don’t have to get up early the next day?

Then comes Thanksgiving Day. Sloth is first on the menu as many of us plop down in front of our TV’s to watch a mix of football, the Macy’s Day Parade, Charlie Brown-like cartoons, and Christmas Movies on our favorite streaming service. 

Gluttony is up next. We get up from our comfortable couches for one of two reasons. To get more food, or go to the bathroom to make room for more food.

Then comes Black Friday & Cyber Monday. A Mike Tyson sized one-two punch to our wallets. You probably don’t need any of the items being advertised to you at 50% off, but you can’t help yourself. Afterall, it’s 50% off! An inescapable offer.

ProTip: If you buy something you don’t need for 50% off just because it’s 50% off, you still spent 100% more than you should have. 

After the dust settles from all the self-indulgent behavior, we’re left with one final event: Giving Tuesday. Which makes me think… Giving Tuesday is the bow on top of a terribly wrapped present. It’s the cherry on top of melted ice cream. It’s a band-aid applied to a gun-shot wound. Its purpose is to make us feel better about the train wreck we all just survived.

I’m being dramatic for effect. In all honesty, I believe Thanksgiving is a great holiday that brings my three favorite “F words” together: friends, family and food. It also gives us a much deserved break towards the end of the year.

What is Giving Tuesday

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

There are a few ways people can participate.

  • Give Time - Connect with nonprofits in your neighborhood or check out VolunteerMatch, Points of Light, or Idealist.

  • Give Voice - We can all be activists who affect the kind of change that makes our world a better place. 

  • Give Dollars - Donate to a nonprofit in honor of GivingTuesday. Find a nonprofit on Giving Tuesday’s Participating Nonprofits page

  • Give Goods - Collect toiletries, books, clothes, food - just about anything can be the focus of a donation drive. Be sure the check in with the nonprofit you’re collecting for before you begin.

  • Give Kindness - A seemingly small act of kindness has the power to inspire generosity that can permeate society and catalyze change. Buy someone’s lunch, text someone to tell them you’re grateful to know them, or compliment a stranger. 

  • Give Talent - Many nonprofits are understaffed or operating on a small budget and can’t afford the marketing, HR, technology, or planning resources that their missions deserve. Consider giving your skills to help a nonprofit - get connected with Taproot+.

  • Share Why You Give - When we share our generosity, we inspire others to give back too. Share how and why you're giving back on GivingTuesday by posting your #UNselfie on social media. Share your story as part of the #MyGivingStory contest and your favorite cause could win up to $10k to help empower their work.

For Giving Tuesday 2019, Dia and I will be contributing to the INAD Cure Foundation. We will be taking advantage of Facebook’s Giving Tuesday Match Program by making our contribution at exactly 8AM on December 3rd, 2019.

If you want to join us, you can do so by adding this event reminder to your google calendar.

What is INAD?

INAD stands for Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy. INAD is a disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. Individuals with INAD typically do not have any symptoms at birth, but between the ages of about 6 and 18 months they begin to experience delays in acquiring new motor and intellectual skills, such as crawling or beginning to speak. Eventually they lose previously acquired skills (developmental regression).

The progression of INAD is usually rapid after the initial onset of symptoms. Many affected children never learn to walk or lose this ability shortly after learning it. During the last stages of the disease, severe spasticity (tight or stiff muscles), progressive cognitive decline and problems with vision have a large impact on daily life. Unfortunately, many children with INAD do not live beyond age 10, but some do survive into their teens or later ages. Supportive care and symptom management can lead to a longer life span by reducing the risk of infections and other complications.

There is currently no treatment or cure for INAD. 

Why is INAD Important to us?

There are 2 major reasons why funding the research to cure INAD is a priority for us. 

The first reason is that it hit close to home. My cousin’s daughter, Ariya, was diagnosed with INAD at 2 years old. Because of how rare it is, It took almost a full year of testing for doctors to identify what was wrong with Ariya. Which brings me to #2. 

As of today, the INADcure Foundation has identified less than 100 families suffering from this disorder. Since it’s not as prevalent as cancer, alzheimers, or other life threatening conditions, there’s not much economic incentive for a drug company to prioritize finding a cure.

INADcure Foundation

Almost immediately after their daughter was diagnosed, my cousins, Leena and Akshay Panwala, started the INADcure Foundation. 

Their mission is to support the development of treatments, and ultimately find a cure for Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD). Their vision is to live in a world where INAD is effectively diagnosed, treated, and cured – so not one more child has to suffer from this devastating disease.

The Foundation will identify and fund the most promising INAD research projects and will forge partnerships with academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of treatments.

Facebook’s Giving Tuesday Match Program

Facebook’s match for GivingTuesday 2019 begins at 8:00 AM Eastern Time (5:00 AM Pacific Time) on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

  • Donations are matched dollar for dollar on a first-come, first-served basis until $7,000,000 USD in eligible donations are made on Facebook.

  • Any US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit eligible to receive donations on Facebook can be matched.

  • Facebook will match up to a total of $100,000 per nonprofit organization.

  • Each donor can have up to $20,000 in eligible donations matched on GivingTuesday.

  • We cover processing fees so that when you donate using Facebook’s payments platform to a nonprofit organization, 100% of your donation goes to support the cause you care about.

See the Giving Tuesday Donation Match Program Terms for more details about the match.

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!

Get Involved

I’ve outlined a few ways anyone can get involved. If you’re short on money, contribute time. If you’re short on time, contribute your voice / influence. 

If you don’t currently have a cause you feel strongly about, you can join us in supporting the INADcure foundation. It would mean a lot to me and my family. Let’s end Thanksgiving 2019 on a generous note.

Sunny Shakhawala

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