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Giving Tuesday (the GOOD fake Holiday). And Did My Black Friday Plan Work?


There are many made-up holidays, especially in this season we are in. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday. We’ve really jammed them in tight. But, if you are going to participate in one of the fake holidays… make it Giving Tuesday.

Today, I’m promoting one organization for your consideration to give to: Bold Hope. Andrew and Matthew Jones are friends of mine that run it. In 2010, Haiti got rocked by a terrible earthquake. These two brothers wanted to do something to make a difference, more than just a text-to-donate campaign. But to really help, they needed to learn more about the people.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, and most the population lives on $1 a day or less. So they did something drastic… they lived like them for 30 days. Making a dollar stretch as far as they could, while filming the entire experience. I came in to help them finish their documentary in 2012, which you can watch here.

Since then, their nonprofit Bold Hope has started an orphanage, school, clinic, child sponsorship program, supporting entrepreneurs, and bringing hundreds of people down to invest in these people’s lives. They’ve branched out now into other countries, and are running trips now into Belize and the Dominican Republic. I’ve been able to visit Haiti three times with them over the years to capture their work up close.

But as you might expect, the pandemic has hit them hard since their ministry runs these mission trips. It’s a little difficult to do that with all the constant government shutdowns, quarantines, and fear. Right now, they have someone who has agreed to match every donation up through $25,000, which will help them support their administrative costs. I love their heart and the care they take in trying to do the right thing to empower the people in these countries to sustain themselves. They’ve welcomed me into their home several times as we’ve had so much fun working together on so many different videos and projects.

So, if you’d like to consider giving to them on Giving Tuesday, check out their matching campaign here. It might be a fake holiday, but the results won’t be.

Speaking of fake holidays…

Update On My Black Friday Plan/Intentions/College Try…

So you might be wondering, “Was J.B. successful in completely avoiding the siren song of Black Friday this year like he told us he would?”


It was a better year, with less dark cycles of endless scrolling. And it started off strong for a few weeks. However, I still underprepared myself for the volume and intensity of the marketing. I thought If I stayed off the apps that would be enough, but apps were the least of my worries.

Every single platform, medium, website, podcast, youtube video, email, letter, commercial, sign, news story, and store had something about a Black Friday sale. Everywhere! Constantly bombarded by advertisements, and it’s impossible to block it all out without completely isolating yourself in the woods… at which point a plane would write 50% off in the clouds (only slightly joking about that).

For most of the month, I stayed on track. But at some point, all the lightning deals and to-day only sales got me so intrigued, that I had to look. I was able to mitigate the damage, in spite of it. Two things helped me this year.

#1 I didn’t have any money to spend. We’d had so many unexpected expenditures this month, so by the time Thanksgiving week approached, I didn’t have anything to spend.

#1 I used my lists to guide me. When I’d get the itch to look at deals, I’d go look at my curated list to see if anything from their had actually gone on sale, and if I wanted to pounce on it with my personal fun money. And almost always I found that what I had deemed I wanted before the sales kicked in never got the sales in the end.

The most annoying moment came when we started looking for family gifts. We got on a text thread with other family members to pool together to get someone else a bigger Christmas gift. That morning, the “perfect” thing we wanted to get them was $50 off. After doing some more research and talking it through, my sister said she would go ahead and buy it and we could reimburse her. But by that evening, only a couple hours later, the sale had ALREADY ENDED. The day wasn’t even over yet, and they pulled the sale.

I felt tricked by this stupid game, so once I finished my Christmas shopping, it was easy to ignore the siren song again.

So this Holiday season might not have been a home run, but it was at least a step in the right direction.

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