SEATTLE - Merchants report sales up 2.3 percent, compared with last year, in the holiday buying frenzy of Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday. Today is Cyber Monday, known for online shopping. So, charitable groups are hoping there's some time and money left for a different focus.
Giving Tuesday is tomorrow, Dec 3. It began last year as an antidote to the holiday consumer frenzy, and has grown to include more than 8,000 partner organizations, in all 50 states.
Henry Timms, who runs a New York "Y," is credited with coming up with the idea.
"Every year, we hear a lot of people complaining that they think things are too consumer-focused," Timms said. "What we hope is that Giving Tuesday gives them a chance to really put that complaint to good use and think, 'How can I give something back?'"
The event is also known as #GivingTuesday, since it started on social media. Timms said this year, they're putting an online spin on the fad of taking "selfies" - photos of themselves that people share on social media. He called it the "UN-selfie."