#GivingTuesdayMilitary: Kindness is Our Cadence

“We want to create the world that our children believe already exists.” – Samantha Gomolka

“Giving Tuesday” is a global giving initiative that is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. This movement inspires millions to give back- to give of their time, their talents, and even financial support for Non-profits. This year, Giving Tuesday is on December 3rd.

The goal of this amazing movement is to create a wave of generosity, a wave that will change the landscape for good. This exciting goal is what caught the attention of Jessica Manfre.

The Story of #GivingTuesdayMilitary

While filming with Maria Reed of Moving with the Military for the Coast Guard episode, the two were overwhelmed with the amount of support from volunteers and surrounding communities. When filming wrapped up, Jessica began to follow the Giving Tuesday Facebook page and decided to reach out to the organization. The organization connected with Jessica and encouraged her to coin #GivingTuesdayMilitary. Jessica quickly pulled in Maria Reed and Samantha Golmolka, fellow Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouses of the Year, along for the ride. These three are fiercely committed to making kindness their cadence. This will be the drum beat of the #GivingTuesdayMilitary movement- kindness.

The #GivingTuesdayMilitary movement is challenging the military to community to commit to completing one million acts of kindness on this December 3rd, to share their acts on social media, and to use the #GivingTuesdayMilitary.

The Women Behind the Movement

After interviewing Jessica Manfre, Samantha Gomolka, and Maria Reed, the message is loud and clear. They want others to give of themselves-not for themselves-but for the good and joy of others.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of jumping on a video call with these amazing and dynamic women. We each grabbed a hot cup of coffee and spent time talking about the goals of this movement and the legacy that they hoped to leave. I couldn’t help but to beam with excitement as they cast the vision for what they hoped #GivingTuesdayMilitary would be. I think it is important to share some of our intimate conversation, as I believe that this movement will do more than spread a little kindness. I believe it will literally change the world.

They want to save lives. As we sipped our coffee, I asked “What do you want to be true on December 4th?” Jessica replied “I want to save lives. There are so many in our community that are without hope. They are dealing with loss or grief. They are feeling isolated or alone. We know the stats. Holidays are hard. We want people to know that we are here.” I believe that this movement will bring light into dark spaces. Buy coffee for the car behind you at Starbucks, or buy the person serving you lunch a meal. You will never know the battles that others are fighting, but we can be the light for someone that feels like they are alone in the dark.

They want to leave a legacy. As our time went on, I asked “What do you see for #GivingTuesdayMilitary in five years?” Maria Reed offered the idea that “#GivingTuesdayMilitary is not about one person, or even about us. We have an abundance of joy that we can give away. If we can give joy away in our community, we can inspire a movement- to call people to live this mission.” She said “We never saw it as something for ourselves. This movement is bigger than us. We want to hand it off to those that come behind us, to empower others.” These women are changing the game and paving a road for those that would follow us, as military spouses and community members, to walk upon.

Success is guaranteed. While we were wrapping up, I hardly wanted to hang up from the line. Spending time with these three would make anyone want to take on the world and change it for good. The last question I asked is “What does success look like?” Samantha Gomolka replied “It has never been about the numbers, or the tracking. There is no failure here. It is such an amazing blessing. We know that these acts will help others.” Even one small act of kindness changes the world. There is no failure. There is only the potential for big change. Together, we can use our time and talents to join the movement.

During our time together, I was more than encouraged. I was inspired. When we raise our voices collectively and unite around a common cause, we are unstoppable. These women exemplify what it means to be a military spouse. They possess compassion, kindness, and the willingness to serve.

Here is the ask. Do good. Be kind. Give joy away.

On December 3rd, you are invited to participate in @GivingTuesdayMilitary by doing an act of kindness. Snap a photo and share it on social media, and don’t forget to use the #GivingTuesdayMilitary!

Megan Brown is a seasoned military spouse and military missionary. She is the Military Liaison for the Speak Up Conference Global Missions Military Scholarship and the 2019-Armed Forces Insurance Robins AFB Military Spouse of the Year. She is passionate about military mission work, teaching and preaching about Jesus in and out of the local church. She lives in middle Georgia with her husband, Keith, and their energetic kiddos. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and freelance writer. To learn more or connect with Megan, visit www.meganbbrown.com.