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Central Texans give back on Giving Tuesday

On the heels of the busiest shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Central Texans decided to give back during Giving Tuesday.

AUSTIN — If you didn’t give away all your money to retailers during Black Friday, Shop Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday, you may want to think about donating to your community on Giving Tuesday. (Or any other time of the year.)

More than 150 countries participate in Giving Tuesday.

According to the organization I Live Here I Give Here, last year, Central Texans did more than 1.6 million actions for good including coat drives, food collections, and donating more than $700,000 to local nonprofits.

This year, they have a goal of two million acts of good.

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One of the local non-profits asking you to donate is Casa Marianella.

"Truthfully, the people who come to us wouldn't have anywhere else to go,” said Executive Director Jennifer Long.

They help provide services for homeless immigrants. People can get food, shelter, legal and medical aid, English classes, and help to find work and a more permanent place to live.

Long said it costs them about $20 a night to provide services for each person, and said they have about 130 people at the shelter every night.

"The only way that we can actually survive is by receiving donations from the community,” said Long.

On Giving Tuesday, they hope to raise about $10,000.

"It's actually just a day to focus on how every small donation can really collectively make a huge impact,” said Catherine Lucchesi, with I Live Here I Give Here.

The organization, which also puts on the region-wide community giving day Amplify ATX, is the Central Texas community leader for Giving Tuesday.

"Black Friday, Cyber Monday ... let's focus on what makes this season the best time of year, giving back to your community and helping one another,” said Lucchesi.