SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Volunteers go through an orientation before working at the SF-Marin Food Bank on November 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. A day after consumers spent billions of dollars on Cyber Monday, millions of people in the United States and in countries around the world will volunteer and donate money on Giving Tuesday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What is #GivingTuesday and how can you participate?

You may have dropped a bundle on holiday gifts this past weekend, but on Tuesday a day set aside to think about others could give you a chance to lend a hand and warm your heart.

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An event called “Giving Tuesday” is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, and is aimed at directing money to charitable causes locally and around the world.

The idea began in 2012 when the 92nd Street Y, a New York City nonprofit organization, partnered with the United Nations Foundation to come up with an event that would link people looking to donate time or money to a charitable cause that could use the help.

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How does it work? How much and to whom you donate or where you choose to volunteer is up to you. Those participating are asked to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday or #UNselfie to tell others on social media about their donation, creating a shared experience of giving to help others. 

More than $300 million was raised online last year, according to the Giving Tuesday website. That was almost double what was donated in 2016. 

If you want to participate, you can go to the website for links to organizations looking for help

The site includes a search feature that allows you to see which groups in your area are looking for help, Or, you can search social media outlets using the hashtag #GivingTuesday or #UNselfie to see what others are doing.

Facebook has announced that in support of #GivingTuesday 2018, it will be partnering with PayPal to match donations made on Facebook to nonprofits up to a total of $7 million. Click here for more details.

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