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It's the week of Thanksgiving, which means we're about to be presented with many opportunities to spend our money, including running the gauntlet of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday ("Low gas prices may not spur Thanksgiving travel but could boost shopping," Nov. 20). In response to the week's emphasis on consumerism, over the last few years another opportunity has emerged — Giving Tuesday. This is a day where donating money or time is celebrated and encouraged. As an employee of a nonprofit organization, I am obviously a strong supporter of this movement, not just out of my organization's own self-interest but also because I believe that getting more people involved in philanthropy is a positive end in itself for our society.

While I am an advocate for Giving Tuesday, I question its timing. By holding Giving Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, we unintentionally tell people to spend on themselves before they spend on others. I do not believe that this is what our ideal should be, and I do not think it aligns well with the philanthropic beliefs of our nation. The 2015 CAF World Giving Index ranks the United States as the second most charitable country in the world and, according to Gallup polling, 63 percent of Americans said they donated money to a charity in the past month. We are clearly a generous nation and I believe that we value putting others before ourselves, but this is not currently reflected in the timing of Giving Tuesday.

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This year, I propose that we celebrate Giving Tuesday the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, November 24. Let's put the needs of others first and buying the box set of our favorite TV show second.

Kevin Leary, Owings Mills

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