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New holiday tradition? Giving Tuesday urges shoppers to give to others

New holiday tradition? Giving Tuesday urges shoppers to give to others
Shoppers flock to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa for Black Friday deals.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

After the shopping binge of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, charities are encouraging consumers to give back in a newly minted day called Giving Tuesday.

Charities and nonprofits across the country are rolling out fundraising drives and recruiting volunteers for the day after Cyber Monday, which this year is expected to break records to become the biggest-ever Web shopping day. Early reports said online sales jumped 28.4% from the same day last year, according to IBM Benchmark.

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Giving Tuesday organizers hope that shoppers who splurged on themselves will embrace a day dedicated to giving back. The holiday season accounts for about a third of annual charitable donations.

“Giving Tuesday is a terrific opportunity to change how we think about the holiday season,” said Perla Ni, chief executive of charity review site GreatNonprofits.org. Shoppers “can support their community by volunteering or donating to local charities.”

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More than 2,000 organizations are joining in the effort, which has garnered prominent supporters including tech executives and former Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich.

The movement has also gained traction on Twitter, where the hashtag #givingtuesday was trending Tuesday.

“It’s Giving Tuesday -- which beats the heck out of Cyber Monday as it allows charities to do good things for the world,” wrote one Twitter user.

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