An unselfie is a way of saying “this cause is important to me.”

Somehow the idea of “giving” gets lost during the “season of giving.”  With all the focus on spending and buying, giving to those in need seems to have been buried under a pile of boxes and wrapping paper.

But social media may be coming to the rescue. ‘The Unselfie Movement,’ a campaign in which people take pictures of themselves and their favorite charitable cause, is spreading like wildfire around the Web.  More than 8,000 organizations in the U.S. have signed up as partners, from charities to businesses to small towns to cities.

“To mark this #GivingTuesday, we ask you to use your social networks by posting #Unselfies plus challenging five friends to do the same,” says Sarah Copeland, the Foundation’s Director of Grants and Programs. “Anyone who wants to celebrate the powerful positive role that giving plays in our world can share and post their own “unselfie” on their favorite social media sites and by email.”

It seems to be working. There are multiple unselfie Instagram pages, countless #unselfie tweets on Twitter and loads of unselfies on Facebook and other social-media sites.

Last year, during #Giving Tuesday, five area community funds promoted unselfies.  This year, they are doing it again. One way to join in is to attend local Area Community Fund #Giving Tuesday event Dec. 3. There will be refreshments – coffee and conversation - with local fund advisory committee members and unselfie sheets to fill out.

To take an unselfie, write on a piece of paper the cause you’re supporting on #GivingTuesday. People then hold the piece of paper in front of their face and snap an unselfie.

The #Unselfie is not about showing off or advertising how virtuous you are. It is a way of saying, this cause is important to me—and seeing that, people may be inspired to look more deeply into the causes you support and hopefully unselfie the causes that matter to them.

If you want to print an unselfie sheet at home, simply go to the Community Funds page of the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation’s website and click on the Unselfie tab on the menu. People can also go directly to: https://www.gracf.org/unselfie.

During Giving Tuesday, look for the event in your community. The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, thanks to a Blandin Foundation grant, will double your donation to your area community fund.  “Be on the lookout. Dec. 3 is fast approaching,” concluded Copeland.

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