The United States of America is a very big place with approximately 326.21 billion people residing on the mainland, the islands and the state up towards the north pole. It can make a person feel very small and insignificant, a perspective which can provide a dose of lighthearted presence when day to day life is filled with stressors. From another angle, however, and in a world filled with adversity, it can make someone feel unimportant, overwhelmed and incapable of creating change. It can fool a person into believing that nothing they do will make any difference.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Last year, our country gave $358.38 billion to charitable causes working to rescue animals, save the environment and cultivate a society that puts human services, education and arts within the grasp of all. And don’t think these dollars were donated in the form of elegantly signed checks handed over by the top percentiles, rich corporations and famous foundations. $258.41 billion of that altruistic giving was donated by individual donors giving what they could, that’s 72%! Furthermore, through 7.7 billion hours of volunteering, 62.6 million of our country men, women and children gave another $173 billion worth of services. Still feel small?
Whether you are able to give $2 or 2 hours, those significant gifts can change the day of a senior citizen or help buy emergency food supplies for a growing child. If that’s still hard to grasp, think about #GivingTuesday. The international day for giving, conceived in 2012, inspired $45.68 million donated in one 24 hour time period!
Collective giving campaigns like #GivingTuesday and our region’s Give Back Tahoe Guide for Giving elevate the power of individual donors to make a huge difference in their communities.
This year’s #GivingTuesday launched our own Giving Season, developed and promoted by Sierra Sun and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF). 73 nonprofits are participating for our second annual Give Back Tahoe Guide for Giving which runs through December 31st. You can learn about their missions and requests in the printed guide or on www.givebacktahoe.org. During last year’s inaugural campaign, our region raised $124,000, this, with your help, year we are poised to surpass that number.
On #GivingTuesday alone, our community raised over $45,000! That is more than we raised in the first two week’s of last year’s Giving Season. Not only that, but the collective gifts of donors earned a total of $6,000 for local nonprofits in Challenge Grants. TTCF donors have come together to offer $40,000 worth of Challenge Grants. Through time sensitive challenges, your donation can help your favorite nonprofits earn grants of hundreds or thousands of dollars. After the season, the Guide for Giving will serve as a year round nonprofit directory and www.givebacktahoe.org will post regional volunteer opportunities you can apply for online.
Collectively, we can make a greater impact.