AUSTIN, Texas — We all know Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and, of course, Cyber Monday. But do you know about Giving Tuesday?
Every year, the global holiday aims to encourage people to think about giving back as they go about the holiday shopping season.
The day of giving was inspired by a New York nonprofit in 2012 and has since spread to more than 150 countries, raising more than $900 million for thousands of organizations around the world.
If you're looking for ways to give back this holiday season in the Austin area, here are some things to know:
I Live Here I Give Here
I Live Here I Give Here (ILHIGH) is the official community leader for Giving Tuesday in Central Texas.
In addition to sponsoring Amplify Austin Day, this organization also accepts donations for year-round giving initiatives.
ILHIGH hosts an online database where Central Texans can search for local nonprofits that suit their interests, which they can then research and donate to.
Double the donations for pets
For example, one of the organizations you'll find on the ILHIGH search engine is Austin Pets Alive!
APA! has previously announced that for every dollar donated through the end of Tuesday, a pair of unnamed generous donors will match it.
Give a warm 'Gift of Comfort'
The year for Giving Tuesday, City of Austin Utilities is inviting residents, businesses and organizations to give a "Gift of Comfort" by making a payment toward a loved one, friend or neighbor's utility bill.
"City of Austin Utilities customers often ask how they can help others in the community," said Elaine Veselka, vice president of customer account management. "Our Gift of Comfort program is the perfect opportunity to donate funds to assist with utility bill payments, during the holiday season or any time of the year."
To donate, all you need to have is the name and address of the recipient. You'll then need to download the Gift of Comfort payment form, fill out the required fields and deliver it along with payment to one of the City's payment centers.
Giving in Hays and Caldwell counties
United Way of Hays and Caldwell County is inviting community members to give back by browsing its vetted list of participating agencies in need.
"All of the participating agencies have been vetted, and a group of dedicated volunteers have spent countless hours reviewing financials, interviewing directors, and assessing local needs to determine where local donations will make the greatest impact," the organization said. "Our focus is on improving local education, access to healthcare, financial stability, and crisis intervention. For this one special campaign, 100% of every dollar will stay local, and 100% will go directly to these participating agencies."