Sunday, December 1, 2013

Give Something That Means Something This Cyber Monday

by Melissa Lanier, volunteer contributor

This year I invite you to join me and do something different by taking part in “Tearful Tuesday,” which, if you didn’t know, is the day after ‘Cyber Monday.’ That’s the day when MOST people return to work from the Thanksgiving holiday and sneak-shop from their desks. Tuesday, however, is the day you get the bills and realize you’re broke now and Walmart owns the deed to your home. 

In fact, it’s a race to keep up with retailers cashing in on record sales that start over the week of Thanksgiving and last through Christmas. Powerhouses Walmart and Amazon came to play this year with ‘Pre-Black Friday’ sales that started almost a full week before the turkey even made it to our plates.

Today’s ‘new normal’ has store employees shuffling off to work earlier every year on a day that is now synonymous with shopping deals, but remember we didn’t meet ‘Black Friday’s’ little brother until 2005, when some savvy marketing agents looking to capitalize on the yearly spike in online sales introduced us to 'Cyber Monday,' who appears to be growing up and may soon overshadow his big brother.

In fact, online sales are expected to break last year’s records by 17 percent. Amazon alone reports over 26 million items sold that day were purchased at 306 items per second. Mobile sales are booming and here to stay with promotions like Walmart’s rollback of ‘Cyber Monday’ deals to start the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year.

So this Cyber Monday, when you're clicking away for something to put under the tree, consider this: the American Red Cross has released our 2013 Holiday Giving Catalog and it lays out the different ways to give this year. Sit down on Cyber Monday and look at how to really give a gift that makes a difference.

A $25 donation provides 25 children with lifesaving vaccinations against measles and Rubella. How about you organize a group project with your family and friends. $1,000 will vaccinate an entire village of people. This is just ONE way to give this year so take a couple minutes and check out the link here. If you’re tired of the hyped up sales drama: then HERE is where you’ll find true value this holiday season by giving to those who need your help. 

Happy shopping!

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