After two of the world’s busiest shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers are invited to open their wallets — and their hearts — to give to the charity of their choice.

GivingTuesday, a donation campaign held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, has become an international movement that has raised more than $1 billion since its founding in 2012. The annual observance leverages social media in particular to rally participation under the hashtags #GivingTuesday, #UNSelfie and #MyGivingStory.

Created by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, the campaign — which will take place on Dec. 3 this year — generated over $400 million in 2018 for philanthropic causes in more than 150 countries.

Closer to home, the Catholic Charities Appeal (CCA) and the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP) are encouraging donors to direct their GivingTuesday contributions to some of the area’s most vulnerable individuals.

(Related: Listen to a podcast with Sarah Hanley, president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, on giving to charity with both heart and head.) 

Mercy Hospice, a ministry of archdiocesan Catholic Social Services (CSS), has been selected by CCA and CFGP as their official GivingTuesday beneficiary. Established in 1976 by CSS and the Sisters of Mercy, the Philadelphia-based ministry provides shelter and support to women in recovery from substance abuse.

The hospice, which accommodates both single women and mothers with young children, offers training for life skills, parenting education, case management and recreational programs in a safe, stable environment.

Funds derived from GivingTuesday will enable Mercy Hospice to purchase basic necessities for its residents, including blankets, bed linens, slippers, cookware and household supplies. Contributions will also assist in securing essential items for infants and toddlers, such as diapers, baby blankets, monitors, clothing, pajamas and toys.

To support Mercy Hospice on GivingTuesday with a one-time gift or recurring contribution, visit www.CatholicCharitiesAppeal.org/donate/givingtuesday.

Donors can also win up to $10,000 for the hospice through the official GivingTuesday #MyGivingStory contest, which allows entrants to share their personal reasons for supporting their favorite charity.