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Giving Tuesday: How Make The Most For Charities

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - After days of getting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, today is a reminder of why it's so important to give.

"There's a lot of people out here who do need and don't have, I've seen it," said Harlem resident Ivis Martell.

Giving Tuesday, an annual event held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a global day of giving - a concept created by New York's 92nd Street Y to kick off the charitable season as a time to help others.

MORE: Giving Tuesday Website | #GivingTuesday On Twitter

"What we raise during this quarter really sustains many of our programs throughout the entire year," said Major Lurlene Johnson, director of development for the Salvation Army's Greater NY division.

For the Salvation Army, donations around this time of year are crucial to their programming, especially for after-school programs, day care centers and senior centers, reports CBS2's Janelle Burrell.

Before opening up your wallet to give to organizations, make sure to do your homework to avoid getting scammed.

"The Better Business Bureau is offering advice on avoid scams and give wisely this year," said CBS Moneywatch correspondent Diane King Hall.

"Among the top tips are to watch out for name similarities, that can be a tricky one," she said. "Avoid making a donation on the spot if you don't know the charity, And avoid organizations that don't disclose hey information."

From the Better Business Bureau website:

Besides money, people are also encouraged to give their time.

"Reach out to them, find out what the best way is to help," said Jessica Schneider of the 92nd Street Y. "Maybe it's monetary, maybe it's giving your time, maybe it's giving your expertise."

When you give, it's not just others who receive, you benefit as well.

"When we do have that little bit that we can share and give it to others it feels good," said Harlem resident Sarah Morales.

"We gotta take care of each other," said Upper East Side resident Bill Freston.

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