Today is Giving Tuesday.

The global day of generosity offers plenty of local opportunities to do good through volunteering and donating. The local Giving Tuesday website, givingtuesday712.org, offers area residents a list of organizations to help, volunteer opportunities and ideas to brighten someone’s day.

For instance, the Visiting Nurse Association is collecting gift cards for patients undergoing breast cancer. New Visions Homeless Services is asking for help buying pantry items, while Midlands Humane Society has a list of needs for their pups, cats and other animals.

And it’s not just donations. The 712 Initiative “is challenging the community to interact more with their neighbors. Surprise a friend, neighbor or stranger with kindness!”

Habitat for Humanity is among the many listed nonprofits that need volunteer help for their projects, including the ReStore resale shop.

Marjorie Maas with Share Omaha, a nonprofit that helps connect volunteers and donors with metro area nonprofits that is spearheading Giving Tuesday activity, said the day “isn’t just about cash.” Volunteering time and resources is just as good.

“Fill the little free library in your neighborhood. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk,” Maas said during a kickoff event for Giving Tuesday in late November. “Take canned goods to the Micah House (homeless shelter). Give blood at the Red Cross.”

A full list of nonprofits, giving ideas, volunteer ideas and more is available at givingtuesday712.org.

“Small gifts and gestures add up and make a difference,” Maas said. “We want people to feel differently (today). We want it to be a different day in the metro area.”

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