CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - After a busy week of shopping and giving thanks for what they have, many people have now changed their focus to giving back to the community.

Giving Tuesday started back in 2012 and has since become a movement to celebrate and support philanthropic organizations in the United States.

For many, it kicks off the season of giving going into the holidays.

“So many generous people has stopped by and dropped money in the can for such a great cause,” Anita Dunbar, a volunteer with Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Association, said.

Dunbar has been ringing bells with the Salvation Army for the past 15 years, and this time she decided to volunteer through the Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Association.

“I'm a big believer in giving because there are so many people in need out there in the world today,” Dunbar said.

“Giving Tuesday is important because it focuses on giving to charities and, you know, we spend all weekend buying stuff and this is a chance now to give to others who don't have,” Walter Strong, a Charlottesville corp officer with the Salvation Army.

Many groups rely on people’s charitable spirits on Giving Tuesday and other donations during the holiday season to help them sustain themselves throughout the next year.

“We've been active in Giving Tuesday in the past few years, and it’s always been successful for us,” Emily Martin, the development director with the Building Goodness Foundation, said. “Especially just as a community fundraiser, because we join a lot of other nonprofits in our area who are trying to make extra couple of thousand dollars for their year.”

The Building Goodness Foundation says this is a good time to think of people who might not have much, or just need a little help.

“So it's another option as you're buying your gifts, as you're thinking about how to take a meal to your neighbors house or how to help somebody put up their Christmas lights,” Martin said.

People taking part in Giving Tuesday on November 27 say it's not all about the money on this day, but also getting people engaged to volunteer and learn more about area organizations that help people.