NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a day to give back.

Giving Tuesday means different things to different people, but millions of Americans are participating, by donating time or money or just sharing kindness with a neighbor, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reported.

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Trey Rolnick didn’t wait until Giving Tuesday to give back. The 13-year-old from West Nyack in Rockland County raised thousands of dollars for about 100 care packages to be sent to U.S. Army soldiers stationed overseas.

“Because they do a lot for this country, and this year, with COVID, I said this is the year we should bring them some holiday cheer,” Rolnick said.

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Trey’s sister, Sam, is a first lieutenant with the 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Italy. He wanted his sister and her fellow soldiers to know they are not alone.

“Just to let them know we’re thinking of them, and just that we have them in our thoughts over here every day,” Trey said.


Giving Tuesday is a movement of generosity. First started by the 92nd Street Y, it eventually spread nationwide.

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Organizations like City Harvest depend on that generosity year-round to feed millions of New Yorkers.

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“It’s important to give around the holidays, but it’s going to be equally as important that folks are still giving in January and February and March, when there’s not a holiday,” said City Harvest’s Ryan VanMeter.

In Times Square, the Salvation Army unveiled the world’s largest red kettle. It was perhaps fitting, because the organization needs more help than ever.

Yet, donations are down.

“While this year, in anticipating the decrease of more than 50% in funds being raised because of less foot traffic, because of less cash being used,” said Major Kevin Stoops of the Salvation Army.

And there was a family initiative to help those in need in Midtown. Brothers Nick and Mike Fio gave out blankets to those experiencing homelessness, as part of their organization Blankets of Hope. And in Jersey City, the owner of Solutions Barber Shop provided free haircuts.

“Today is really a day for us to stop thinking about ourselves and just think about how can we serve others,” Mike Fio said.

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Giving Tuesday extends beyond Tuesday, whether it’s donating a haircut to someone in need or money to a worthwhile cause, or even just spreading kindness to a neighbor. Anyone can take part.