If you have turned on the news or opened up a newspaper, then you already know: today is Black Friday. It is the day after Thanksgiving, often the biggest shopping day of the year, the day when people hit the stores early for discounts and sales offered by retailers who wish to boost their bottom line. Department stores and electronics vendors pull out all the stops to get shoppers through their doors, and Black Friday is used by financial forecastors to predict how the market will look in the new year.
Conversely, today is also Buy Nothing Day, a day of commercial protest by social activists. The idea is to shine a light on gross consumption and over-spending. Observers cut up credit cards in public, host sit-ins and conduct protests.
Each of these "days" lie on the extreme ends of the spectrum. At Modest Needs, we suggest something right in the middle.
Why not Give Friday? Or Give Something Day? Instead of buying another gaming system or nothing at all, why not give to someone in desperate need? We'll call it Give Something Friday.
You can change the life of a hard-working single mother who lost her job after her employer filed for bankruptcy.
You can help a struggling mom repair her car after she was laid off. Without it she cannot look for work.
You can aid an individual on dialysis who is struggling to pay his rent.
One doesn't have to "buy nothing" in order to take a stand against over-spending and crass commercialism. You can do better than that. You can prevent a family from being homeless. You can save a single mom and her children from going without heat. You can make a huge difference in the lives of those who need it now more than ever.
Don't buy too much. But don't buy nothing. Give instead.
[Photo by Kris]