Since its inception in 2012, Giving Tuesday has kicked off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. It is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday has become a global movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy, fueled by social media and local efforts.
To build endowments for local non-profits, the Parsons Area Community Foundation hosted its first Match Day on Giving Tuesday, November 29th. The doors of the Wall Family Center were open all day for the public to stop by, enjoy a refreshment, give to one or more of the participating organizations, and have their “UNselfie” picture taken showing why they were giving. Each organization had a display table and representatives to tell about their mission and the significant activities and programs they offer the community.
The Parsons Area Community Foundation committed $25,000 for a match pool to increase all donations. This was augmented by a $5000 gift from Tank Connection for a total of $30,000. To participate, an organization needed to establish an endowed fund with the community foundation by the end of September, 2016. The following organizations have funds and were options for giving: Celebrate Parsons for Katy Days Festival, Curious Minds Discovery Zone, Labette Assistance Center, Labette Community College Athletics, Labette Health Foundation, Parsons Arboretum, Parsons Educational Foundation, Parsons State Hospital Endowment, Proud Animal Lovers Shelter, and Southeast Kansas Respite Services. The $30,000 was divided proportionately among the organizations, based on the percentage of the total receipts each organization raised. The Parsons Area Community Foundation Touch the Future Fund was a further option, but was not included in the $30,000 match pool. Contributions to this fund do, however, receive a 50% match from the GROW II grant provided by the Kansas Health Foundation.
When all donations were verified for the correct amounts to each designated organization, the results were announced, along with the PACF matching funds earned. The Virginia Wommack Fund for Labette Community College Athletics received $13,757.50 in gifts and earned both incentive prize grants of $500 for the greatest number of donations and the most dollars raised. Their percentage of the match pool came to $5,522 for a total increase in their fund of $20,279.50. Totals with match and prizes for all other organizations:
- Celebrate Parsons for Katy Days Festival – $5295
- Curious Minds Discovery Zone – $14,851
- Labette Assistance Center – $11,398
- Labette Health Foundation – $14,542
- Parsons Arboretum Foundation – $13,088
- Parsons Educational Foundation – $10,917
- Parsons State Hospital Endowment – $5,101
- Virginia Wommack Fund for PALS – $13,982
- Southeast Kansas Respite Services – $3,055
- Parsons Area Touch the Future Fund – $12,715
With total receipts of $92,952 from the event, the response from the community was nothing short of astounding. Well over a hundred people from all walks of life came to the center to give to their favorite cause. Particularly heartwarming were LCC students digging into their pockets for ones, fives, tens, or twenties to give in cash. The presence of the LCC cardinal mascot was an energizing force, and Giving Tuesday imprinted helium balloons, provided by Clemens Insurance, set a festive mood. Adding to the fun were hourly drawings for $20 in PK cash, and at noon and 6 pm drawings for two $250 grants, provided by Hugh Charles in honor of Fred Braun. The Katy Days Festival and Labette Assistance Center were the winners of those. Throughout the day various businesses provided food: Wall Funeral Home catered cinnamon rolls and fruit, Upscale Country brought scones by later in the morning, the Parsons Chamber of Commerce provided sandwiches for lunch, Kitchen Pass and Ernestos provided afternoon snacks of buffalo wings, queso, salsa, and chips; and later in the day Horton’s Pizza gave PACF a good deal for pizzas to be delivered. KLKC donated their time to provide broadcasting live from the center giving updates on the running total of donations as well as interviewing participants. A number of people, either from out of town or unable to come in person, mailed in donations or gave online through the Parsons Area Community Foundation website.
The Giving Tuesday event proved our community is filled with generous folks. The Parsons Area Community Foundation board thanks everyone who participated and helped with this event. They would add giving need not be limited to one day! These funds can receive contributions throughout the year either by mailing to PO Box 894 in Parsons, or by credit card online.
Below are a few photos of “UNselfie” pictures taken that day. All were uploaded to Facebook and may be viewed by visiting Parsons Area Community Foundation on Facebook.
Lindi Forbes, Executive Director, LCC Foundation with LCC Cardinal
PACF board member Mike Keal