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Bay Area charities see uptick in donations on Giving Tuesday. Here's how you can help

Giving Tuesday is a day that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give. It was created in 2012 to encourage people to do good.

Giving Tuesday is now a nonprofit but more than that, a movement.

An estimated $2.7 billion was donated last year in the U.S. in just 24 hours, according to the Giving Tuesday website. That was a 9% increase over the prior year.

Some local charities see an uptick in donations on Giving Tuesday.

Capt. Arwyn Rodriguera of The Salvation Army said they're getting the word out about red Kettle Christmas sweaters they're selling online for $62.95 even more on Giving Tuesday.

"We increase the uptick on social media during Giving Tuesday, because people are interested in connecting and joining the conversation about serving the community," Capt. Rodriguera said.

Capt. Rodriguera said in the past they've seen more people engage and sign up to volunteer.

"I've seen engagement through our virtual kettle where people can go and give online, but also an engagement through giving in person, either through our tip tap machine or a dollar in the bucket in front of a store,"Capt. Rodriguera said.

First Place for Youth is also hoping to get a boost on Giving Tuesday. The nonprofit helps about 1,500 foster youth ages 16 to 25 across the nation each year.

"We are providing them with a range of services from our signature My First Place Program, where we provide them with housing, life skills, support," said CEO Thomas Lee. "We have dedicated professionals that are working with them on their education and post-secondary goals that they have for college. And then we're also working with young people in our drop-in centers, and with guaranteed income and helping them learn how to file their own taxes."

In the Bay Area alone, they serve more than 900 youth in five counties.

"California has the largest foster care population of youth in the country," Lee said. "A lot of them congregate in the Bay Area because they know that they .. can get access to services and that there are people, like many of your listeners, that are willing to lean in and provide a helping hand."

This holiday season, First Place for Youth partnered with MyRegistry so people can purchase gifts on wish lists of foster youth.

Last year, 35 million adults participated in Giving Tuesday by donating money but also time and acts of kindness.

Giving Tuesday has some ideas of how you can help online. Here are some of them:

  • Donate to a nonprofit

  • Pay it forward

  • Give time

  • Help your neighbors

  • Give voice

  • Give kindness

Even a nice word or smile is something we can all give for free today.

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