December 19, 2017 | Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
By Sarah Self-Walbrick
Lubbock area residents contributed $273,493.41 through the Giving Tuesday campaign this year. The total was announced at a news conference on Tuesday at the Wayland Baptist University United Supermarkets Conference Center.
“Giving Tuesday is over, but it was a great success,” said Michelle Tosi-Stephens, vice president of development for The Community Foundation of West Texas. “We blew it out of the water this year.”
Sixty local nonprofits benefited from the community’s generosity, according to a news release.
Giving Tuesday was on Nov. 28. According to a previous A-J Media article about the launch of this year’s campaign, Giving Tuesday is a day for people to donate their time and means to a charity of their choosing to counterbalance the commercialization of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Donations were accepted at United Supermarkets locations and at the Community Foundation of West Texas. The website givingtuesdaylbk.org also allowed givers to donate online to a participating nonprofit.
The Giving Tuesday campaign set a goal of $275,000 this year, and were just shy of hitting it. Cassie Johnston, executive director of Alström Angels and director for Lubbock Giving Tuesday, told A-J Media at the campaign kick off that every dollar helps.
“Whether someone can give $5 or $5,000, every single penny makes a difference,” she said, “and it all helps organizations that make our community a better place to live for every one.”
Since the movement launched in Lubbock in 2015, more than $670,000 has been raised to benefit over 100 local nonprofits, according to a news release.
One of this year’s recipients was Open Door, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness in Lubbock. Open Door received $28,953 through the Giving Tuesday campaign, one of the largest amounts.
Jocelyn Wiebe, director of development for Open Door, said she appreciated the generosity of donors on Giving Tuesday.
“We had a lot of donors that got really excited about Giving Tuesday, and we’re really grateful for all of the support across Lubbock, and actually, we had some people from outside of Lubbock who gave, so we’re thankful for that,” Wiebe said.
Chad Wheeler, executive director of Open Door, said the money will go towards operating the multi-faceted center. Open Door works to house homeless people and provide them a sense of community through resources.
The Giving Tuesday donations are immensely helpful, Wiebe said, but she hopes people will consider donating year around.
“We’ve actually set the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Lubbock by 2020. We’ll be almost a third of the way there by this year,” Wiebe said. “The more funds and more support we receive from the community, the more people who share with us in that mission, the sooner we can put more people into housing in Lubbock.”