12/01/2015 08:14 EST | Updated 12/01/2016 05:12 EST

Giving Tuesday Is The Antidote To The Shopping Frenzy Of The Holidays

After the frantic consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there's a day for charity and volunteering to encourage people to think about their communities.

Its proponents call it Giving Tuesday.

"It's a reminder, after the shopping frenzy, to turn around and think about the community," said Lys Hugessen, organizer of Giving Tuesday in Canada.

The idea is simple: find a cause or charity that resonates with you, and donate some of your time and money. 

Or give blood, donate food, sign your organ donor card, or help your neighbour.

"Just let's get out of our bubble and think of others a bit," Hugessen said.

The movement started in 2012 in the U.S., and Hugessen later adopted the idea for Canada. It started with a website that listed Canadian charities, but quickly morphed into local grassroots events. Hugessen said 24 cities are taking part, with some mayors officially declaring the day.

"Canadians have been amazing. They're generous and quick to get involved. It's great to see what's happening," she said.

The organization also created the hashtag #GivingTuesdayCA for Canadians to share their acts of charity on social media.

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