SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - People may have been in more of a giving spirit Tuesday. After a busy weekend full of discounts and heavy shopping, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been dedicated to giving back for five years now. The effort is known as Giving Tuesday.
For organizations here on the coast, like the United Way of South Mississippi, this is a special time of year to evaluate what has been given and look to the future.
"Giving Tuesday in particular is in a time of the year when we all can count our blessings," said Sam Evans, with the United Way. "This is just an opportunity for all nonprofits to come together and really kind of spread each other's stories. It pays forward. It helps everybody when you give back"
The United Way lands in the top 10 on a list of the top 50 charities in the country, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Also on that list is an organization that works hand in hand with United Way, Habitat for Humanity.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast chapter of Habitat wanted to spend Giving Tuesday letting its donors know what their contribution meant. To do that, phone calls went out all day to recent contributors.
"We just wanted to make sure we send our appreciation one more time before we hit the year end," said Lindsay Avery, with Habitat for Humanity.
The nonprofit was also accepting donations online through its Facebook page. Donations made there were being matched up to $1,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Another nonprofit in the top 10 is the Salvation Army. You've probably noticed its coast chapter out in force at storefronts from state line to state line for the red kettle campaign.
"We're trying to do the most good with folks' contributions of time, money, and resources on this Giving Tuesday," said Maj. Gary Sturdivant, with the Salvation Army.
The goal for the nonprofit is to raise more than $375,000 for the six coastal counties. Sturdivant believes South Mississippians are some of the most generous in the country. With the giving attitude that comes with the day, that goal and others might just be met.
According to its website, the Giving Tuesday effort has engaged more than 30,000 organizations worldwide.