Putting Giving at the Center of the Season

Many holiday traditions this time of year include heartfelt conversations about what is happening in our world. We catch up on the latest news, family gossip, and the headlines -- both tragic and inspiring. At the heart of these conversations is a focus on people and how we are part of a human family.

I am fortunate to work at an organization that focuses on helping the United Nations help people around the world. Every day, we see the amazing impact people can have when they come together around an important cause. From basketball players to bloggers, from students to startup entrepreneurs, people across the world are giving their time, resources, and voices to support UN programs that empower people to improve the lives of their families.

With this lesson in mind, the United Nations Foundation joined forces with the 92nd Street Y and a host of creative partners in 2012 to launch #GivingTuesday -- a movement to put giving at the center of the holiday season. This is a bottom up movement that encourages people to give back in whatever way works for them. Over the years, the movement has continued to grow to more than 30,000 partners in 68 countries today -- a clear sign that giving never goes out of fashion.

This year, we hope you will join us on December 1 in making a difference with the UN through our campaigns and initiatives. Here are four great ways to get involved.

Shot@Life: Help protect a child from polio and give them a shot at a healthy life. Every donation to Shot@Life on #GivingTuesday will unlock a matching gift from MAM Baby, up to $25,000. Each gift will help protect children around the world from polio, a disease that still cripples far too many children globally.

Girl Up: Join the SchoolCycle campaign and help give a girl the wheels to success. For $125, you can help provide a girl in Guatemala with a bike, spare parts, maintenance training, and a chance for a brighter future! Set up an online fundraising page, and ask friends and family to help you send one, two, or even four bikes to girls in Guatemala next year.

Nothing But Nets: Every 60 seconds, a child dies from malaria. But a simple $10 bednet can protect a child from this preventable disease. This #GivingTuesday, Gift a Net to your family, friends, and loved ones, and we will send them a card letting them know your gift helped the Nothing But Nets campaign protect refugee children and families from malaria. Thanks to two generous partners, every life-saving net donated on #GivingTuesday will be tripled!

+SocialGood: The world needs more of our most precious resource: Time. On December 1, +SocialGood celebrates #GivingTuesday by donating time to serve and support. #GivingHours is a way to share your talents with any cause or organization. Every hour you donate adds to our Giving Hour Bank - a global collection of volunteer pledges to spend time making local impact. Every hour counts.

We hope you will join us and all of our partners in giving in big and bold ways to help build a better world.