It started with Gray Thursday, for stores that (foolishly) opened at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. Then we had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, then Cyber Monday. So today, we’re at the second annual #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday was created to be a national day of giving to kick off the holiday season and as a way to celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.
There are some great organizations out there doing a wonderful job of promoting general aviation and protecting our freedom to fly. So below are my 10 picks of groups I’m sure would love to have your #GivingTuesday donations.
- Because charity begins at home, I’m supporting the AOPA Foundation with a $50 donation. The courses it funds via the Air Safety Institute have be invaluable as I continue my flying lessons.
- Any organization that encourages more females to fly is worth supporting, which is why Women in Aviation International makes my list. I’ve been a member since 1996.
- Speaking of women, pilot and CFI Lynda Meeks is helping to encourage and grow the next generation of female pilots through her Girls With Wings organization.
- As the daughter and granddaughter of Air Force officers, I am a big supporter of all things military. And the work being done by Veteran’s Airlift Command, which helps transport those injured serving their country, is worthy of our charity dollars.
- As a minority woman, I would love to see more people of color discover the joys of general aviation. To that end, Orlando-based Vision of Flight provides GA opportunities for economically disadvantaged youths.
- Another group that helps people of color learn to fly is the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation. It offers aid to to assist financially disadvantaged and deserving students in the pursuit of their educational goals, preferably leading to careers in the fields of aviation, aerospace and science technology.
- The Air Care Alliance serves as a clearinghouse for groups offering humanitarian flying using volunteer pilots. Make a donation here, and they will make sure it gets to the right place.
- I guess that I’ve spent a good chunk of my life at both branches of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. This museum serves as the repository for the history of aviation and space, and is worthy of our continued support.
- The EAA Young Eagles program has flown more than 1.6 million children — for free — since 1992. Many children were hooked after that first flight, and anything that encourages the next generation of pilots needs to be funded.
- Last — bur certainly not least — for my pick of organizations to be supported on #GivingTuesday is the Recreational Aviation Foundation. I had the chance to spend time with them during the AOPA Summit, and I really admire their efforts to keep recreational air strips across the country open for pilots and their friends and family to enjoy. Plus they got my award for one of the best fundraisers ever, which I wrote about for AOPA Online here.
So I hope you will consider donation to one or more of these worthy organizations on this second annual #GivingTuesday!