MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Thursday marks the second-annual National Give Out Day, a day to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and put efforts toward eliminating youth homelessness.

Alicia Schwarz, who is on the Arise Steering Committee, joined the WCCO This Morning show on Thursday to talk about the campaign. Schwarz said Project Arise started a few years ago with the focus being raising money to support homeless LGBT youth in the community. She said on average, there about 4,000 homeless youth on a nightly basis in the Twin Cities and about 40 percent of those are LGBT.

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The money raised for Project Arise goes directly to organizations in the community which provide direct services to LGBT youth on a daily basis. Those include basic needs like shelter and resources to help youth get back on their feet. Schwarz said something as simple as a $50 donation could go towards a bed for one night, a meal or to providing assistance for case workers dealing directly with the local youth.

The local competition is part of a larger national fundraising effort for National Give Out Day. The individuals and corporations who come in with the largest donations receive bonuses from the national level.

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WCCO-TV’s own Mike Augustyniak is one of the “Givenators” for the Greater Twin Cities United Way. His goal is to raise $3,000 in one day to help fund programs that work to end youth homelessness.

If you’d like to help him reach his goal, here’s how to donate.

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National Give Out Day web site.