Reclaiming the Spirit of Giving: #GivingTuesday

With the holidays fast approaching, a bombardment of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals fill both my inbox and my mailbox. Seeing the slashed prices and promotions brought the same question to mind as it does every year (though I swear they were a week earlier this year…), aren’t the holidays supposed to be about giving? Where is the giving in all of this? As it turns out, I’m far from the first to wonder. New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation started #givingtuesday in 2012. This year’s #givingtuesday falls on December 2nd, a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate giving to the greater good. Whether it is giving your time, energy, or giving through a financial donation – it is a day to give back. 

Children s Hands 2 by mickeyd600At Sierra Business Council we continuously strive to give back to the Sierra Nevada region. Some of our efforts this year include hosting the Peak Innovation Conference, hiring CivicSpark members, advocating for more recognition of the Sierra in the CA Water Bond, and recognizing local leaders from throughout the Sierra for their efforts in sustaining the region. It has been a year filled with the expansion of programs and the creation of new ones; efforts we hope have proven beneficial to you and your network.

The Peak Innovation Center is part of a new program created with you in mind. A few of the services the Peak Innovation Center and the corresponding Small Business Development Center will offer include: shared workspaces, SBA Loan access support, business incubator programs, and one-on-one consulting for new and existing small businesses. This program really aims to give back to the community and help grow the local talent that thrives throughout the Sierra.

The Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership, another newly developed program of SBC, is a cross-sectoral public-private partnership to address climate change in the Sierra Nevada as it relates to the triple bottom line. It is a partnership, rallying and catalyzing businesses and nonprofits across the Sierra, to form one unified voice and share best practices in sustaining our communities, economy, and environment. We are excited about each of these these programs, and believe they will bring new resources throughout the Sierra Nevada to continue to grow the region we love.

SBC has also expanded programs by increasing energy savings through the Sierra Nevada Energy Watch Program, and hiring CivicSpark members to write climate action plans. Our CivicSpark Americorps members will be working with our local government partners to facilitate the first year of implementation of the energy plans. CivicSpark’s mission is to build capacity in local governments, enabling communities to address climate change. CivicSpark accomplishes this by providing project support and by recruiting and supporting volunteers to increase community engagement.

We strive to foster thriving communities in the Sierra Nevada through on the ground local projects that promote, develop and amplify the area’s social, environmental and economic capital, and that means we strive to make the Sierra Nevada region a better place for us to call home. We are grateful for all of you helping us in achieving so much this past year, which would not be possible without your support. We hope you will continue to join us in building a better Sierra Nevada with #givingtuesday on December 2nd by supporting local organizations and businesses. I will be shopping locally, and making my end of the year donations to support our local economy and give back to a region, that for me personally, has given so much.