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Giving Tuesday: A Chance to Give Back During the Holiday Season

St. Louis-based Gateway to Peace Museum, Habitat for Humanity and the United Way of Greater St. Louis are among the nonprofits trying to encourage people to pause in their shopping and find a way to help others.

Will donating to charity ever be as popular as shopping during the holiday season?

A partnership of nonprofits hopes so.

For many people, the holiday shopping marathon began on Thanksgiving Day, with some national chains opening their doors just hours after the traditional turkey dinner. Then comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, which has morphed into Cyber Week.

Now, there's a new campaign asking you to open your wallet—Giving Tuesday.

The Giving Tuesday website says the effort, coming on the heels of days devoted to consumerism, is designed "to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations."

Several Missouri-based nonprofits are among those using their websites and social media networks to kick off the inaugural effort. They include larger organizations such as the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Gateway to Peace Museum as well as smaller charities such as the Community Council of St. Charles County and Haven of Grace.

The effort includes the Twitter hashtag #GivingTuesday, designed to help spread the word. Some participating organizations are using social media to push awareness and help raise money; others, like the Institute for Family Medicine on South Lindbergh have specific volunteer projects set up to encourage participation.

What do you think? Can a social media push get people giving more of their money and time to charities during the holiday season?

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