Take a deep breath, and distance yourself from the chaotic rush of purchasing and planning. Now remember what the holiday season is really about: sharing time with family and giving back to the community.

The Friends of the GTM Reserve is celebrating #GivingTuesday on November 29, 2016, with an oyster shell bagging event at GTM Research Reserve. This day of giving is fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. A global event, it harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners-charities, families, businesses, and individuals to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

#GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, with this year falling on November 29. This event kicks off the holiday giving season and will hopefully inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities and to give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support. Currently, more than 45,000 corporate and nonprofit organizations in over 71 countries have participated in the initiative.

The event lasts from 9 am-1 pm. Meet at the Shell Bank (GTM NERR Middle Beach Parking Lot). Water and gloves will be provided. Please come prepared to have fun, get dirty and contribute to oyster restoration. Closed toe shoes recommended, as well as a water bottle! This is an open event so come and bag oyster shell as much or as little as you wish!

If you would like to volunteer for this event, email shannon.rininger@dep.state.fl.us or call 904-823-4500.