FORT DRUM — With the thought in mind that one act of kindness can change the world, three military spouses from different branches of service made the decision to go global and inspire 1 million acts of kindness by establishing GivingTuesday Military.
GivingTuesday, which is the Tuesday directly following Thanksgiving, was established in 2012 with the goal of making generosity go viral, and the global day of giving did just that. This day is designed to inspire charitable giving to organizations that are changemakers in their communities, but also stimulate collaboration and volunteerism in communities.
Local Chapter Ambassador for GivingTuesday Military, Brittany Raines, is facilitating kindness efforts in the Fort Drum and Watertown area on Dec. 1 to encourage those looking to give back and get involved.
Mrs. Raines is the wife of SSG Casey Raines and the 2017 Fort Drum Military Spouse of the Year. This is her second year as the Ambassador for GivingTuesday Military after a successful inaugural year with more than 4,000 acts of kindness from the Fort Drum area counted toward global numbers.
“GivingTuesday Military is the perfect example of people working together to make a difference in the lives of others and transform their communities,” said Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday, in a statement. “It’s inspiring to see military service members, veterans, and their families who already have committed so much to something bigger than themselves, lead the way to encourage one million acts of kindness.”
The challenge to military service members, families, and veterans is to complete 1 million acts of kindness and share a photo, video, or post of their acts through social media channels with -GivingTuesdayMilitary.
The schedule for the Fort Drum and Watertown efforts is as follows:
— Midnight to 7 a.m.: Volunteers will be delivering items to local first responders, hospitals, and schools
— 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Adopt a grandparent veterans edition - delivering cards and writing messages on windows at Samaritan Keep Home as well as Carthage Center. NCSC and FDMCH dropping off winter coats to Urban Mission at 9 a.m., hanging scarves and hats with Warm Up Watertown at 10 a.m. in Public Square
— Noon to 5 p.m.: Blood drives at Salmon Run Mall across from Paint It Pottery and Fort Drum PX, tables will be set up to make cards for Veteran’s Last Patrol
— Happening all day: Pay It with a Post-It (pay kindness forward at Starbucks in the PX by buying a gift card and writing kind words for a stranger), food drive at ZooNY to benefit Feed Our Vets
“These acts of kindness can be small but give members of the military community an opportunity to connect with each other and the communities we live in,” Mrs. Raines said. “The opportunities are limitless and could be as simple as buying a cup of coffee for a stranger, leaving a kind note on a car windshield or simply sharing a hug with someone who needs it.”
For more details about GivingTuesday Military, visit www.givingtuesdaymilitary.com or engage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter through @GivingTuesdayMilitary or #GivingTuesdayMilitary.
Participating organizations include, but are not limited to, the American Red Cross, Salmon Run Mall, North Country Spouses’ Club, ZooNY, Cornell Cooperative Extension, SLAM Fort Drum, and Sweet Confections by LaTasha Mosely. Sponsors include AmeriCU, AUSA, First Command, Stewart’s Shops, FX Caprara and the NYP Mobile Unit.