Philanthropy is thriving in Boone County as the Boone County Big Give wrapped up today.
The Boone County Big Give is a week-long 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 Area Foundation Board member Jay Wolf said this event has grown from the initial 12-hour event last year with $172,000 going to 13 organizations.
“Boone County Area Foundation and the Albion Economic Development Foundation collaborated to underwrite this event and get it going,” Wolf said. “This year there are 16 charitable organizations that are working together to have the Big Give.”
Boone County Big Give Coordinator, Tina Stokes, said she is excited about the impact this event has for the 16 organizations involved this year. As of Saturday, Dec. 5, more than $140,000 has been raised from 797 gifts. This preliminary total does not yet include matching funds gifts.
“Whether they raise $1000 or $7000, it could help them with programming and reaching more people,” Stokes said.
The Boone County Food Pantry is raising funds to buy personal hygiene products and other essential items that are not often donated to the pantry.
“They were able to provide a service or a product that they maybe could not have otherwise if they didn’t have those dollars,” Stokes explained.
During the Boone County Big Give, the public attended and participated in events hosted by participating organizations to learn more about what each one does and those it serves.
“When organizations join the Big Give, we ask that they host an event to give people a reason to come to their facility or engage in what they do,” Stokes said.” It stimulates conversation and encourages people to actually go to these locations and spending quality time there.”
Gifts were made online, hand-delivered to different giving stations throughout Boone County and also by mail.
Each gift will be given to the selected organization. In addition to the individual gifts contributed throughout the week, a matching funds program using sponsor dollars will also be divided among the organizations based on the number of unique gifts received.
Wolf shared why he is excited about the community involvement with the Boone County Big Give.
“People are getting more educated about the great organizations that we have here,” Wolf said. “Then they get excited about what they are doing and the opportunity to be part of that impact.”
While the Boone County Big Gift has reached beyond county borders, the impact from this philanthropic environment is immediate for those who are giving local.
“People get to see the results of that they are doing,” Wolf said. “That’s the beauty of local giving. You live right there and get to see what it does.”
Stokes said the Boone County Big Give is changing the way people think about philanthropy.
“I feel like the conversation around philanthropy, charitable giving and what our organizations are providing have gotten bigger and louder. That makes it worthwhile, regardless of how many dollars we raise,” Stokes said.
She also said she is excited about the heart and attitude of the Boone County community.
“Whether they only have $10 in their pocket or $50, they are willing to give a portion of that away to make Boone County a better place to live,” Stokes said. “That speaks volumes for the character of the people who live in this county.”