Nearly 30 Elk Grove-based nonprofits received much-needed public support on May 6th as they attended the eighth annual Big Day of Giving.
This 24-hour online fundraiser is organized by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation to serve nonprofits across the Sacramento Region. Organizers reported May 7th that 688 nonprofits raised a total of $ 12.8 million.
The last two big days were crucially important for many local nonprofits that have had to cancel several personal fundraisers since March 2020 as COVID security restrictions banned large gatherings.
The nonprofit that runs the Elk Grove Strauss Festival reported that it raised nearly $ 15,000 for their 19th century Austrian music and dance festival held in the Elk Grove Regional Park. Because of the pandemic, there has been no Strauss Festival since July 2019. During this year’s Big Day of Giving, Strauss dancers in full regalia performed waltzes and polkas in front of the Elk Grove Stage Stop and Museum.
“It was wonderful to see the dancers back on the ground,” said Marjorie Jones, co-chair of the Strauss Festival.
The Elk Grove Regional Scholarship, a nonprofit that awarded more than $ 2 million in scholarships to local students, raised approximately $ 5,756 this year. Their treasurer, Steve Singleton, said he will raise the donations, which will bring the total proceeds to $ 11,512. He said this amount will support more than 90 scholarships.
“With your continued support, we have been able to expand the foundation every year. This year 175 grants were awarded to help our youth get on with their lives,” Singleton said in a message to the supporters.
Chicks in Crisis, a local nonprofit that supports young mothers and their families, has exceeded its goal of $ 20,000.
“We appreciate the incredible support from our community and thank everyone who has donated for helping us continue our mission to save babies from care, abuse and abandonment,” said Marya Cooley, director of operations and marketing, Chicks in crisis.
Elk Grove Food Bank Services held a Big Giving Day party in their future Kent Street office. They plan to build a 9,900 square meter permanent warehouse behind the office and to open this facility in late fall.
“With this Big Day of Giving Party, the community can see what it has invested in – this is their food bank,” said Marie Jachino, general manager of the food bank. “We just wanted them to see the (future home), it’s pretty exciting to us about the amount of money we’re getting.”
That year, the food bank raised more than $ 42,700 and received commitments of 230 volunteer hours, said Valerie Erwin, the community outreach manager for the nonprofit. She noticed that some supporters made donations, like a 6-year-old boy who helped sell homemade necklaces and used $ 185 in sales money to buy food donations for the food bank.
Many of the longtime volunteers and food bank managers attended the house party. Jean Sadler, founding member, recalled the days when the grocery bank was serving fewer than 20 customers a day during Elk Grove’s small-town days.
“I love knowing that I am helping bring food to the table for so many people and I am helping in small ways to make a difference for them,” she said.
Jachino said children and seniors now make up a large portion of the food bank’s customers. The nonprofit is now planning to partner with the Elk Grove Unified School District to develop a “School Pantry” program for storing food on campus to help students from families in need. They are also considering holding a farmers market event on Friday so students can take fresh produce home with them.
The food bank saw a sharp surge in new customers asking for food aid during the pandemic and economic stalemate last year. They won a total of 7,065 new customers in 2020, Jachino told the citizen last December.
She recently said that not that many new customers are signing up for the food bank’s services.
“Our numbers haven’t gone down yet, people who are unemployed or going through difficult times are still coming to provide services,” she said. “I think we’ll keep seeing this.”