Today, Tuesday, Nov. 29, non-profits, families, businesses and individuals from around the globe are coming together for one purpose: to celebrate giving.
GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
The holiday season evokes a spirit of giving as individuals throughout the country rally together to serve warm meals, collect and donate articles of clothing and lend a helping hand through other community efforts for families in need.
Many selflessly give their resources, time and talent towards serving others. Non-profits throughout the country are no different in that hundreds of volunteers serve their communities in efforts needed at various area organizations. As a non-profit healthcare system, Ochsner utilizes a dedicated team of volunteers to help enrich the community, engaging patients in meaningful, long-lasting ways.
Motivated by personal, moral or spiritual factors, Ochsner’s volunteers, who collectively donate 40,000 hours of service annually, represent a wide range of age groups, from as young as 14 to upwards of 80 years of age.
Katie Daher, Manager of Ochsner’s Volunteer Services, has even seen the impact that volunteerism can have on one’s own health and well-being. Whether to fulfill a desire to make an impact on their community, or to serve the purpose of helping one to move forward in their personal life, Katie expresses that the work that they do also allows them, “to put their situation in perspective and gives them something to look forward to. Feeling useful undoubtedly helps with the volunteer’s emotional well-being.”
This very culture of generosity amongst volunteers at Ochsner is also prevalent in the team who serve at Ochsner. In 2015, Ochsner physicians and employees came together to contribute a record-breaking $1,570,814 in gifts and pledges to the health system. Many employees chose to designate their gifts to the Employee Assistance Fund, which helps co-workers in times of personal need. As shared by Odette Miguelez, International Transplant Coordinator at Ochsner, she gives to the campaign because “it’s my small way of saying thank you for everything I have been given in my life.”
Here are some ideas on how you can give back to Ochsner on GivingTuesday or any day of the year:
- Donate online at Giving.Ochsner.org to support areas like Ochsner’s AFib Center of Excellence Fund (to find, click on “Match My Gift” tab at top of page). Your gift can change and save lives with double the impact when you give to this 1:1 matching gift opportunity, which will contribute to the designation of Ochsner’s AFib Center of Excellence, plus support the expansion of Ochsner's Electrophysiology (EP) lab space through the construction of a 4th Electrophysiology Lab. The fund will also support Ochsner’s pursuit as the premiere patient-centered AFib Center of Excellence in the country by providing multi-disciplinary care and education focused on the individual.
- Give the gift of life and schedule an appointment at an Ochsner Blood Bank Donor Center. Or, to see when a blood drive will be coming to your area, visit OchsnerBloodBank.org.
- Make a donation while you shop at Smile.Amazon.com. Through AmazonSmile, you can choose to support your favorite charitable organization – like Ochsner – every time you shop, at no cost to you.
- Learn how you can volunteer at Ochsner and visit Ochsner.org/volunteer.
- Learn about planned giving at Ochsner by contacting Craig Bardell with Ochsner’s Department of Philanthropy at Craig.Bardell@ochsner.org.
Join with Ochsner and others in your community today on Giving Tuesday, November 29, to spread the message and consider ways in which you can give and leave your legacy.