The season of gratitude is upon us. Thursday, of course, was Thanksgiving, the day we reserve to remind ourselves of all the things for which we are thankful. Black Friday is followed by Small Business Saturday, a reminder of how life used to be when you’d buy your eggs from the farm next door, laid by hens whose names you knew. Cyber Monday was a day for deals and (hopefully) getting some holiday shopping done for loved ones.
So that brings us to Giving Tuesday, the day you celebrate the things you love. And you love booze! So I ask you, this Giving Tuesday, will you support some legitimately good causes that also help or are supported by your favorite booze brands? Here are our suggestions for ways to do just that.
You Love Whiskey
Without water, there is no whiskey. If Kentucky is where your favorite whiskey is made, consider a gift to the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, a not-for-profit that oversees the Kentucky Aquatic Resource Fund, which protects and restores the habitat of threatened and endangered aquatic life. Maybe you follow the philosophy of WC Fields and think you don’t drink water. But almost every bottle of whiskey is half water, so you’re at least drinking it half-heartedly. If you want to continue drinking shots of half water, help preserve the waterways of whiskey.
You Love Beer
Some of the best beer comes from the Pacific Northwest, which is also where the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides works to protect agricultural biodiversity and soil health, both of which make for more delicious beer. If you thought that whiskey being half water was a lot, the fact that beer is usually more than 90% water will overwhelm you. But that’s not as overwhelming as drinking a pint of RoundUp, so help out our friends at the NCAP.
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You Love Wine
Napa Valley is home to some of the best wines in the United States, but it’s also home to some of the country’s worst wildfires. For more than four decades, Napa Valley Grapegrowers has been working to preserve the terroir for these amazing grapes. But climate change is making their job that much harder. Unless you want to be drinking smokey wine, consider supporting the NVG today.
You Love Tequila and Mezcal
Okay, this part of the article may be self-serving as I run SACRED. This not-for-profit attempts to improve the quality of life in rural Mexican communities that make heritage agave spirits. As you and I drink more and more tequila and mezcal, we are putting tremendous environmental pressure on the families who have, for hundreds of years, been stewards of these spirits. They’re finding it harder to access agave, harder to access water and our consumption is altering their traditions.
This holiday season, our primary fundraising campaign is in support of preserving the cultural heritage of Santa Maria Ixcatlan, a mountain community in northern Oaxaca. The foundation for cultural heritage is language, and the native language of this community, Ixcatec, is at risk of disappearing. That’s the bad news. The good news is, that while there were only eight registered Ixcatec speakers in 2008, that number has grown to 195 in 2020. Help us secure and expand that population by donating to the construction of a school for Ixcatec. The community is seeking $12,000 to construct that school, and if everyone who drank a Margarita this holiday season were to kick in $10, we could build an entire Ixcatec University.
You Love Your Bartender
They bring you hope in a glass when you’re feeling down. They celebrate your victories and commiserate your losses. But they are the rare member of the working class that, in most states, doesn’t have to make minimum wage, and they rarely get healthcare from their employers. So raise a toast to them in the most meaningful way: by making a donation to Another Round Another Rally.
This not-for-profit provides financial and educational resources for bartenders and other members of the hospitality industry. They give voice to the historically excluded voices in the hospitality community and supply emergency assistance when someone, like your favorite bartender, experiences unexpected hardship. All year long, your bartender gives to you, whether it’s Tuesday or not. This Giving Tuesday, make it about them.
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