Thousands of nonprofits are hopeful about the donations provided by the North Texas Giving Day that took place on Thursday, September 24. This is the 13th annual giving day and follows a week-long time period where Texans were able to donate to any of the participating nonprofits.
The director of community engagement for the Communities Foundation of Texas and event host, Chris McSwain, told The Dallas Morning News that “North Texas Giving Day really reflects how much Texans love Texas.”
According to McSwain, the early giving period collected over $8 million in donations. There are more participating organizations than in recent years due to how the Covid pandemic negatively impacted many of them.
There was an increase in the demand for food as many people lost their jobs or homes.
“Then there are arts nonprofits, who couldn’t host their plays and their shows,” McSwain explained. “The crux of their programs was challenged because they could not have people walk through their doors.”
Arts Mission Oak Cliff is a nonprofit that runs their operations out of a refurbished church, providing space for artists to work on their craft. Founder Anastasia Muñoz said she hopes giving day will provide the organization a boost.
“Funds will help us move forward as we’re trying to rebuild and grow,” Muñoz said.
She hopes they can use donations to host programs, performances, and their annual haunted house.
The parent club of the Greenville Suzuki Strings Association gives Greenville ISD students the chance to learn how to play musical instruments, such as the cello and violin. The club president, Chie Wilcock, said they usually raise funds through concessions at their concerts. However, the pandemic prevented them from being able to do so.
Wilcock said, “The students have to switch instruments every couple of years as they grow, so we always need funds for new instruments.”
There were some North Texas nonprofits that found positive aspects in the pandemic. LGBTQ Saves began offering virtual services and saw new growth. Sharon Herrera, the founder, said donations will help them continue to grow and provide support to LGBTQ youth and families.
“My focus started in Fort Worth, but now we’re in Florida, Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio,” Herrera told The Dallas Morning News. “We used to serve 20 to 25 kids a month, now we’re well over 100.”
Other organizations, including the Museum of Biblical Art, were hit harder by the pandemic. Museum director and curator Scott Peck said donations from Giving Day will help them continue surviving.
“COVID has been tough on us, to be honest,” Peck said. “It has been really hard.”
The museum may have to permanently close if they don’t raise enough funds for daily operations and staff members.
The Black Heart Association, founded by Tara Robinson, will be using donations to launch a mobile unit, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“We were considering a brick and mortar, but right now this helps us get into underserved communities, screen people on-site, let them know where they stand, and give them access to a doctor if they don’t have insurance,” Robinson explained.