Assoc. News Editor
The “Extraordinary Give” took place on November 30 and raised $1.6 million for Lancaster County nonprofit organizations in a 24-hour time period. People from across the country electronically donated to more than 192 nonprofit organizations. Their donations would be stretched by the Lancaster County Community Foundation, which organized the giving marathon.
The top organization on the leader board at the conclusion of the 24-hour period was the “Children Deserve a Chance Foundation,” which aims to ” be a beacon of hope to adolescents who are in high-risk areas, where they may be surrounded with drugs and gangs and are in need of positive role models,” according to its website.
Not only were the virtual dollars coming in through the internet, but a group of public relations students took it one step further to raise awareness and funds for Lancaster County’s Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Lauren Kline, who is the account executive of Gemini Public Relations, was assigned Lancaster County’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity as a client to work with for the duration of the semester. This student-run agency had a goal of raising between $1,000 and $2,000 during the 24-hour give last Friday. The group set up camp in the Student Memorial Center with a bake sale throughout the course of the day and asked for donations from the campus community. The Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity chapter reached $14,000 throughout the time crunch.
“It was a really great experience to be a part of something so new and yet so successful. To see that many individuals take time out of their days to donate to so many diverse organizations was humbling. When people connect as a community, special things happen and the ‘Extraordinary Give’ did that. I still can’t believe the amount of success, I look at the website at least once each day to remind myself,” explained Kline.
According to LancasterOnline, “This year’s giving marathon was run as a pilot effort, she said, noting that the Community Foundation will “absolutely consider” doing it again, but it will have to find another source of stretch dollars.” In order to participate, the organizations must have 501(c)3 status.
The leaderboard can be found at http://extragive.s3.amazonaws.com/leaderboard.html for a list of all organizations that participated.