NEW YORK (CBSNEwYork) — There’s a day for giving thanks and two for getting great deals, but what about a day of giving?
Thanks to the 92nd Street Y, a new holiday tradition has emerged called Giving Tuesday — a national online day of donating.
“During the holiday season we have two days to get deals — Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Deputy Executive Director Henry Timms. “We sat there thinking, ‘What about a day for giving back?'”
“It feels great to get a bargain on Friday and Monday, but nothing beats the feeling of helping someone who needs the help,” CEO Sol Adler told 1010 WINS.
To help kick off the movement, musician John Legend gave skaters at Bryant Park a one-of-a-kind treat in the form of an up close and personal surprise performance.
“It’s Giving Tuesday and I’m excited to be a part of this,” Legend said. “This season isn’t just about giving gifts within your family, it’s also about helping people that may be your neighbors, that may be someone living in your community, maybe someone living across the world that needs help.”
At the event, park goers enjoyed free skating and hot chocolate in exchange for whatever they could donate to the Salvation Army.
“There are families still wondering, ‘What is my future?’ ‘How will I get my home rebuilt?’” Major George Hood, of the Salvation Army said. “We’re there to wrap our arms around people, to reassure them, to let them know that we care.”
More than 2,000 organizations are participating in Giving Tuesday and the effort quickly became a trending topic on Twitter with celebrities, such as Bill Gates, spreading the word about the movement.
Giving Tuesday is also catching on with New Yorkers.
“I think it’s a great idea because there are a lot of people in need right now,” Sharona Meiselman, of Manhattan, told CBS 2’s Alex Denis.
“I think it’s important to give back on a special day but it’s equally important to remember that it should be every day that you’re thinking about your community,” Ben Meiselman, of Manhattan, said.
For more information visit GivingTuesday.org.