OTTAWA -- Every year, millions around the world use the day after Cyber Monday to support their favourite charities or a cause they care about. It’s called Giving Tuesday and those who benefit from this day need it now more than ever.

Donor Joyce knows how important it is.

“The less fortunate, everybody needs to be happy. Especially at Christmas,” says Joyce. “I do gifting. I give my grandkids cans for their drive at school.”

It began in 2012, the idea is for people to take the savings on deals from Black Friday and Cyber Monday and donate it to a good cause, like Youth Ottawa.

Stefania Marino is their events coordinator and says this day is one of the most important of the year for them.

“For a lot of non-profits, Giving Tuesday is a day that really allows us to get the funds that we need,” says Marino. “With those funds, we help launch a lot of our programs. Our programs are creative youth empowerment programs. We run youth active media, which is all about digital literacy for young people.”

Giving Tuesday is about more than just money. It also illustrates the importance of community organizations

“Everybody has something to give. And every act of generosity counts,” Says Lys Hugessen, VP of Partnerships and Giving Tuesday Canada. “We’re seeing acts of kindness. We’re seeing people giving blood. We’re seeing all kinds of collections of clothing and drives for food and toys.”

Moneris is Canada's largest payment processing company. It monitors spending and say they’ve already seen an increase in charity donations this year compared to all of 2020.

“For now, we’re already predicting that giving is going to be up versus last year,” says Moneris VP of Products, Marta Rzeszowska “Consumers are actually already giving more. So, there’s a little bit of a good news story here because even with how hard everyone has been hit over the last year and a half, we’re already seeing that giving is already up.”

The high cost of living means not everyone can afford to donate. But many still help when they can.

“We definitely still give but probably not as much this year,” says donor Charlene Burnside. “But we still make it a point to give something. Because it is tough and, like you said, groceries are ridiculous and gas is expensive.”

Donor Mike Parsons adds, “People who are in need, need all the help they can get. And I think just to spare a few dollars for those people, I think it helps.”

And for Joyce, giving also brings joy.

“At Christmas, I pick a school and I give a gift card so a family can have Christmas. It makes me feel good.”

Visit the Giving Tuesday website to find out how you can give back.