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Advocates: Put Holiday Consumerism Aside For A Second And Remember Giving Tuesday Is About Helping The Less Fortunate

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the last few days have been all about holiday shopping. Tuesday, it's about service.

As CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported, Giving Tuesday is exactly what the name suggests -- a chance to give back.

"It was a day that was created simply to encourage people to do good," said Celeste Flores, director of communities for the group Giving Tuesday.

Volunteer your time, donate money, and/or be kind to someone, that's what Giving Tuesday is all about.

The concept was started nearly 10 years ago by a couple staff members at the 92nd Street Y who noticed the last days of November were taken up by consumerism, like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

"Tuesday wasn't claimed yet. It was a day to focus efforts on humanity, generosity and gratitude," Flores said.

On Giving Tuesday, you're encouraged to support the causes most important to you, like the volunteer Duddridge saw helping deliver food in Brooklyn.

Over 80 countries participate, along with thousands of charities and businesses.

Natalie Mackey, the CEO of Winky Lux, said Giving Tuesday is as big for the makeup company as Cyber Monday. It donates a percentage of all of its Tuesday sales to charity.

"We've chosen Million Dollar Women Fund this year. Female entrepreneurs, unfortunately, get 2% of venture capital. This organization really addresses social economic change through helping female entrepreneurs," Mackey said.

A Black-owned coffee brand, Black and Bold, is also donating 5% of its sales, and hosting a pop-up bus outside the Barclays Center ahead of the Knicks-Nets game that will introduce basketball fans to charities.

"The initiatives range between eradicating youth homelessness, eradicating food insecurities, as well as professional skills development," Pernell Cezar said.

The goal is to make "purpose popular."

"Giving Tuesday. It gives us the opportunity as a company, society as a whole, to prioritize giving back to communities organizations and individuals that need it the most," Rod Johnson said.

In 2020, alone, Giving Tuesday raised $2.4 billion for charity.

"There's no wrong to do Giving Tuesday, if you're giving of your heart, generosity in a way that's meaningful to you," Flores said.

Advocates encourage everyone to share how they helped on social media, saying it's not "showing off." Instead, it's likely to inspire others to give, too.

To get more Giving Tuesday ideas, please click here, and share with us how you helped brighten someone's day on social media. Please, don't forget to tag @CBSNewYork.

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