As the holidays approach and our thoughts turn to giving, it’s important to remember (and celebrate) the ways in which Americans can do more with their wallets than just shop. We can, for instance, support the numerous groups whose work makes our state and our communities stronger, more vibrant places to live and work.
In keeping with this vision, the North Carolina Justice Center has joined #GivingTuesday, a national effort scheduled for next Tuesday, December 3rd that seeks to highlight how individual gifts of resources and time can make our world a better place.
All too often, the holiday season is about being a consumer. #GivingTuesday provides an opportunity for all of us to consider what it means to be a good citizen.
The Justice Center believes that building a stronger economy requires building a pathway to the middle-class for all families in our communities. We must invest in schools and universities, promote the health and well-being of all, create quality jobs, protect against exploitation and discrimination and provide the needed public resources to grow and sustain our communities.
For more than 20 years, the Justice Center has advocated for public policies that create a pathway out of poverty. Among many other successful policy efforts, we have worked to prevent predatory payday lenders from charging criminally high interest rates, expand access to health insurance for children, help enact a state Earned Income Tax Credit to support families working for low wages, and ensure every child’s constitutional right to a sound, basic education.
North Carolinians have long demonstrated the power of concerted, collective effort to improve our state and its communities. Fifty years ago, through the combined effort of philanthropy and public investment, our state created the North Carolina Fund, a model for combating poverty and expanding economic opportunity. Over the course of many decades, we have built strong public policies that made our state a great place to live and one that provided an accessible economic leader for a growing number of people.
Today, though enormous challenges abound, we know that the most meaningful gift we can give our children, loved ones, friends, and neighbors is the commitment to help build a better world. On #GivingTuesday, we hope you will join us in working to expand opportunity and prosperity for all North Carolina’s people.
Melinda Lawrence is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Justice Center.