Lutheran World Relief, an international charity that helps people pull themselves out of poverty, will be promoting its LWR Gifts program, which allows donors to help purchase livestock or plants for struggling families overseas, Lee said. The group will give a stuffed toy goat to the first 400 people who donate at least $200, he said.

Worldwide Shelters in Glenwood helps individuals and communities displaced by natural or other disasters with shelter.

For Giving Tuesday, the nonprofit plans to sell $38 T-shirts to fund a trip to Nicaragua next year by Earthen Endeavors, which teaches mostly women in rural areas on how to construct community buildings out of readily available supplies, such as mud and straw, said Jeannie McMahon, Worldwide's executive director.

She said she learned about GivingTuesday in September while tooling around on the Internet looking for fundraising ideas.

"It's awesome for a charity like us," said McMahon, adding the event can be a way for more people to learn about the work of her six-year-old organization.

With the enthusiasm generated by the event so far, nonprofits are optimistic about future Giving Tuesdays.

"It's such a great start, and next year I can see this taking off even more so," Cantori said.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

twitter.com/eileenambrose

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