Giving Tuesday brings out the giving spirit of Alaskans

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — With the annual retail rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rearview, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to focus on charity, sacrifice and service to others.

Local organizations like Catholic Social Services rely on the help of around 80 volunteers to provide seven different programs every day in Anchorage.

Catholic Social Services Development & Community Relations Director Tricia Teasly says CSS assists those in need with everything from distributing groceries and hygiene products to providing emergency shelters.

"Volunteers and their time leverage people's donations, and that helps the community so much in providing all the services that Catholic Social Services does," Teasly said.

If you'd like to give back during the holidays but don't have time to volunteer, donating can go a long way. Local charities accept everything from monetary donations to gently used clothes.

This year several local businesses including Able Body Shop and Northern Waste are partnering with Toys for Tots to fill a dumpster with new toys for children in need this Christmas.

Drop-off locations include Able Body Shop locations at 1111 Dowling Rd. and 1550 Gambell St., and Northern Waste, located at 1237 E 66th Ave.

There are also programs that allow volunteers to go out into their community and provide potentially life saving services to the elderly. One example is the Salvation Army Disaster Bag program. Salvation Army Program Manager Maddie Kettner says these types of services have the power to bring people together while assisting the needs of community members.

"Elders are a big part of the Alaskan community as well as a lot of salvation army programs, so it's important to make sure that we're giving back to the people that raised us," Kettner said.