SEATTLE - One week from today, an unofficial "charitable giving season" kicks off in Washington and around the country. A group of media-savvy folks has decided that, after one day for giving thanks and two days for getting bargains - Black Friday and Cyber Monday - the nation needs a day for giving back. They're using social media channels such as Twitter to spread the word that Tuesday, November 27, is the first "Hashtag Giving Tuesday" (#GivingTuesday). People are being asked to donate money or services, or volunteer time to charities.
Aaron Sherinian, vice president for public relations at the UN Foundation, says his group is among the first to partner with the movement. And he says it makes sense.
"This is a country of generous people. So, generosity is in our hearts - why shouldn't it be on the calendar? Let's make a statement about giving, and give 'giving' its opening day."
Hashtag Giving Tuesday's organizers say more than a thousand groups are promoting the concept.
Sherinian is expecting the idea to go viral.
"We give really well. We mobilize very well. So, let's use a social media reality and let's help make sure it's on the minds and the tongues - and probably more importantly, in the tweets and on the keyboards - of everyone we know."
According to the organization "Giving USA," Americans gave $298 billion last year, down from a pre-recession high in 2007 of $310 billion.