LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea according to the movement’s website. They wanted it to be a day that encourages people to do good. They say that since then it has “grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.”

The moment is about doing activities and giving time to help people and organizations but it’s also about helping them financially on that day with their fundraisers. Participants can spend the day helping people on their own or with an organization or at an event. With many events going on all over the country, every community will be having opportunities to participate.

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The movement includes 80 countries that are involved with millions of people doing good work – and more than 260 community campaigns in the United States.

Giving Tuesday is always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It was started by Henry Timms, President and CEO of the Lincoln Center, and co-founded by the United Nations Foundation. Over the years, it has gotten support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation and others.

There is no limit to the ways people can participate in the day including everything from helping animals and the environment to helping a neighbor shovel the snow off their sidewalk.

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But will donations for Giving Tuesday be down this year because of the current economic climate? The Christian Post is wondering the same thing.

With about 1.5 million non-profits in the United States, there are many who are hoping that people will continue to be generous with their time and money this year. According to The Christian Post, about 35 million people participated in Giving Tuesday last year and donated about $2.7 billion to their favorite charities.

They wonder how this year will be different with people “facing soaring food prices and energy bills a wobbly stock market and signs of a recession.” They ask, “Will anxious Americans open their wallets for charity this year?”

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With hard times for a lot of non-profits this year, they certainly hope so.