As the deal-grabbing days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, Giving Tuesday is now underway encouraging people to make donations to charities, volunteer and generally support philanthropic efforts.
Boone County is on board and full steam for local philanthropy this week with the Boone County Big Give from Monday, November 30 to Friday, December 4.
The Boone County Big Give is a weeklong event showcasing different area charitable organizations and their current needs. It is geared towards awareness as well as creating an opportunity for giving.
Boone County Big Give Coordinator, Tina Stokes, said: “Last year, the Big Give was a 12-hour awareness campaign. We asked organizations to host an event to bring people in their doors. Several people tried to attend all of them, but weren’t able to. This year, we decided to spread it out.”
The Boone County Area Foundation Fund and the Albion Economic Development Corporation, two organizations that work to improve quality of life for residents of Boone County, partner together to put on this event.
“We have all these charitable foundations in the county. The Boone County Philanthropic Council is in place to help them work better together to prioritize needs for the county.”
During the Boone County Big Give, the public is invited to attend and participate in events hosted by participating organizations to learn more about what each one does and those it serves.
“The Big Give helps people find an organization that they care about and get involved,” Stokes said. “It is an opportunity for individuals, businesses and organization to work together to create a better place to live, work and play.”
This includes a specific need that has become a priority for each organization. For some, this is funding for programming and for others, gifts are needed to help repair or replace equipment. For example, the entrepreneurship class that runs the Gateway Theatre in Albion will be using gifts received to replace an LCD projector.
“Last year was amazing. The number of people who attended every event blew me away. People took the day off of work to go to events. I think that says a lot about the heart of the county. That’s what I’m most excited about.”
Last year’s Big Give event extended beyond county borders.
“We had gifts come from Brazil last year. A family of a past foreign exchange student found out about the event and made a contribution. People from all over the place with ties to Boone County also got involved.”
Throughout the week, donations can be made in person at any designated giving stations, including banks throughout Boone County, Rae Valley Market in Petersburg, Scott Daniels State Farm Insurance in Albion, and Prim Town Pub in Primrose as well as any organization event throughout this week.
Gifts can also be made online or by mail. However, to be included in the matching funds opportunity, gifts must be received by Friday, December 4th.
Each gift is given to the selected organization. Donors can mark which organization to support and all funds are provided to the appropriate group. In addition, a matching funds program is created using sponsor dollars. These funds are divided among the organizations based on the number of unique gifts received.
“Last year, approximately $172,000 was gifted across all of the organizations involved. All of the money from this event stays in the county,” Stokes said. “The cool thing about this event is that it is about caring. We are recognizing these organizations that are dedicated to serving the county and building a culture of giving time and talent along with giving financially.”
People are encouraged to attend the Boone County Big Give Wrap Party on Friday totals from gifts are tallied. This celebration including entertainment, food and beverages will start at 4 p.m. at the Cardinal Inn in Albion.
Click here for more information, the week's schedule of events and ways to give.