Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Love Memphis by Giving Back on Giving Tuesday

All Heart: Grit. Grind. Give.

When I first moved to Memphis from Texas in 2007, I somehow found my way into the Union Arby’s in the first days of my Memphis life. There I was, a young 22-year-old newly-minted teacher, headed out into the great wide world… and I knew about as close to nothing as you can get without dying. I was terrified. I suppose I sought out the comfort and familiarity of curly fries, clinging to anything that I knew back home. Behind the cash register the employee greeted me with a genuine, warm, exuberant, “Hi baby! What can we get for you?” followed by a string of other kind words and well wishes. She was so friendly, familiar, warm, and wise that I could not handle it- I welled up in tears. When I opened my bag, I found she had given me a bigger size of fries for free.

I found later that this is the spirit of Memphis- this immense, genuine generosity. It pervades everything and everybody. You cannot go to the grocery store or the post office without making a new friend, and just about anybody will invite you home to dinner. In my first year of teaching, my Memphian co-teachers would throw me lifelines in Tupperware- chili, hot wings, chicken spaghetti, just because they knew I needed it. They would pull me aside and tell me I was working hard and they knew it, and they would offer me whatever I needed, including food. It is because of them, and many other warm folks who came along the way that I am still here. At the very heart of Memphis is this notion of a warm plate, a warm hug, or a helping hand, and it shows. Statistically speaking, Memphis is actually one of the most generous cities in the nation, and we should be very proud of that.

This is why The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence is teaming up with Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, Choose901, Leadership Memphis, New Memphis, The Urban League Young Professionals, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals to launch the first-ever city-wide Giving Tuesday campaign called Grit. Grind. Give. This is a wonderful opportunity to show the world what the Memphis giving spirit is all about.

What is Giving Tuesday?

The idea behind Giving Tuesday is simple: flood the world with generosity by giving to a nonprofit on December 1st to kick off the holiday season. Giving Tuesday happens entirely online, connecting people from all walks of life together as they give through the hashtag #givingtuesday.

There are several ways to participate in Giving Tuesday in the 901:

  • Be a MemGiver

If you are a nonprofit supporter, consider giving to one of the 212 Alliance member nonprofits that are all across the city by clicking here and joining the “generosity mob”. Share your giving story online by posting an #unselfie and make sure to use #give901 and #gritgrindgive.

  • Help People Give to You

If you are nonprofit, promote Giving Tuesday by sharing Grit. Grind. Give.’s logo and website on Facebook and Twitter (don’t forget the hashtag #give901 #gritgrindgive) and mentioning it in your eblasts. You can download the logos to promote Grit. Grind. Give. here. Make sure your donation button is easy to find on your website!

  • Be a Social Media Ambassador

Encourage others to give to a worthy mid-south organization via social media using one of the media files accessible here and make sure to use the hashtag #give901 #gritgrindgive. Be an inspiration!

In this season of thanks, let’s show our gratitude to the hard-working nonprofits that make the Mid-south and Memphis the city we know and love. Remember, no gift is ever too small, even if it is up-sizing the curly fries.

-Jaclyn Suffel, Strategic Communications Manager, Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence

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