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(WBIR) Sweeping up deals has been the focal point over the past several days, but Tuesday is dedicated to giving back.

Giving Tuesday is national movement encouraging people to give time, money or services to charities with the same gusto as shopping on Black Friday. The movement started last year as a response to the retail shopping days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

The idea is simple - find a way you along with your family, community, company or organization can work together to help others in need. Next, inspire others by showing how you're making a difference using #GivingTuesday.

United Way of Greater Knoxville is one of the nonprofit partners of Giving Tuesday. This is the first time the organization has pushed the local movement. You can give to programs that directly benefit East Tennesseans struggling with hunger, poverty and homelessness. Programs that United Way of Greater Knoxville benefits are Mobile Meals, Second Harvest, Boys & Girls Club, and YMCA.

Not only does Giving Tuesday help raise money for local, national and international charities, it's also a great way for people to learn more about programs that significantly impact communities.

United Way of Greater Knoxville's 2013 annual campaign chair Bob Kesling, who is also the "Voice of the Vols" and a former channel 10 anchor, said people should go to the United Way of Greater Knoxville website along with social media to discover how volunteers and agencies are changing lives for the better.

"It's an educational process to tell people what these agencies do and how much they give back to the community," explained Kesling. "So we hope people after they had Thanksgiving and felt how thankful they are for what they have, they'll give back to the community today."

United Way of Greater Knoxville is hoping to raise $12 million in 2013-2014. So far, the nonprofit has raised over $9 million towardits goal.

How you can help:

Donate to the United Way at http://www.uwgk.org/

Learn about Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee at www.TennesseeBig.org

You can double your donation by going to www.DoubleMyDonation.org.

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