With images of shoppers fighting over merchandise on Black Friday, the spirit of giving seems lost in the extreme materialism that the holidays have come to represent.

Charitable groups are looking to do something about that by starting a new holiday tradition, called Giving Tuesday. The first one is today.

“Wouldn’t it be great if alongside days for shopping like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there was a day just for giving?,” said Sol Adler, Executive Director of 92nd Street Y, a nonprofit cultural and community center in New York behind the idea.

“#GivingTuesday allows us to create a new kind of community – across geographical borders – around the idea of ‘doing good.’”

Organizers are encouraging people to give money, expertise or volunteer time to a favorite charity and then share that good deed on social media to encourage others.

Prosperity Candles
More than 2,000 organizations in the US are taking part spreading the word and encouraging their communities to give whatever they can.

Some participants, such as Prosperity Candle, which works to empower women in countries like Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq by helping them build candle-making enterprises, are offering incentives to encourage giving. On Tuesday, November 27th, they will donate 10% of every purchase to their non-profit partners.

“Especially during the holidays, we want our customers to know that there are ways to participate in the commercial side of gift giving without compromising their values,” said Kaitlin Hasseler, business development director at Prosperity Candle.

“They can absolutely give gifts that are sustainable, impactful and socially conscious – gifts that give back tenfold,” Hasseler told The Story Exchange.

More ideas for participating can be found on the Giving Tuesday website. http://givingtuesday.org/

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