Now serving its fourth generation of local students, Camp Tyler Outdoor School has impacted a multitude through providing many programs designed to help campers learn and meet educational goals.

Camp Tyler Outdoor School credits the training its instructors receive as being a major reason it is effective in helping campers learn.

“Classroom teachers praise the way CTOS (Camp Tyler Outdoor School) instructors are able to challenge campers with science and higher level thinking in everyday activities,” Debbie Shafer, executive director of CTOS said in a press release. “Training for CTOS Instructors is critical for the program we provide.”

To raise funds that will help pay for this training, on Tuesday the Camp Tyler Outdoor School will join organizations from throughout the community and all across the world by participating in #GivingTuesday.

Now in its fourth year, GivingTuesday.org states that #GivingTuesday is a movement that harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities.

The site states that #GivingTuesday does this by bringing together a unique blend of partners - nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses, corporations and families and individuals - to encourage small acts of kindness.

Some local participants this year include: Camp Tyler Outdoor School, East Texas Food Bank, East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Goodwill Industries of East Texas and Refuge of Light. GivingTuesday.org also includes a search engine that allows visitors to search for any organization that may join the movement as it nears.

The site also includes links to participants’ websites, many of which give visitors information on how to donate as well as information on how they plan to celebrate #GivingTuesday.

The East Food Bank includes a #GivingTuesday icon on its website where visitors can click and give. The organization plans to spend the day encouraging East Texans to give.

“Every dollar donated to the East Texas Food Bank helps provide eight meals, so everyone that makes a donation is helping to feed hungry children, families and seniors in East Texas,” Karolyn Davis, communications director of the East Texas Food Bank, said.

Refuge of Light’s plans for #GivingTuesday include having a social media campaign by posting pictures of their Grounds for Justice coffee shop customers who choose to donate. These customers will be holding a #UNselfie sign, a #GivingTuesday practice that is encouraged and has become very popular.

Tammy Dees, community outreach coordinator for Refuge of Light, said that every dime raised will go towards the safe home they run for female minors who have been sex trafficked.

Ms. Dees said that Refuge of Light participated in #GivingTuesday last year and that many of their customers that donated at Grounds for Justice had fun participating and taking #UNselfie photos. She hopes that this year the day is even more successful for the nonprofit.

“They really seem to enjoy that and everything, so we’re hoping that for us, now that (#GivingTuesday) is getting to be more known, that we will have even more progress and awareness this year,” Ms. Dees said.

While local participants in #GivingTuesday look forward to the increased awareness and donations that the day may bring, they are also thankful for what the day represents.

“Days like this are good because it brings awareness of very worthy and important charities and nonprofits that are reaching to help East Texans and the community (and) our neighbors,” said Shannon Carter, community outreach coordinator at Goodwill Industries of East Texas.

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