Black Friday — and what it really means to us

It’s safe to say, if you know me, that Black Friday isn’t my favorite. Families split off after (or instead of) Thanksgiving celebrations to go shopping for major sales. Consumer culture at its best!

Working in Ecuador has made me struggle with Black Friday even more. Why? Because, sadly, ‘Viernes Negro’ has transitioned to Ecuador!

An ad, similar to the one Jenn and I saw in 2012 or 2013, at Mi Comisariato (a local all-purpose store) for Black Friday sales.

On a deeper level, there are so many people who cannot experience Black Friday. Shopping at this level, even with major sales, isn’t feasible for most of our families. They are prioritizing education (even after our support, there are other needs — like bus fare), food and clothing. They likely will have to work on Black Friday, if they have the opportunity to work a steady job. Like many retailers in the U.S., working on Black Friday might involve long hours, unpleasant consumers, and difficult crowds. Today, one of our graduates Cristhian might even be working — he was lucky enough to land a steady job at Mi Comisariato, so he can help make ends meet at home. 
Cristhian (left) and his family!
Anyways — my point for you today is to remember those (both in the U.S. and Ecuador) who can’t participate in Black Friday. That’s one of the reasons #GivingTuesday was created, to encourage people to support people in need, and not just participate in consumer-focused activities. I hope to see you at one of our eight events on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. If you’re in Hoboken, Manchester CT, Wilmington, Baltimore, DC, San Francisco, or Villanova, you can learn more about who we think about on Black Friday!

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