Local nonprofits participate in GoodGiving Challenge

The GoodGiving Challenge, an annual fundraising campaign hosted by the Blue Grass Community Foundation, will take place between Dec. 1 and Dec. 7 and is the Bluegrass’ largest virtual fundraiser, according to the Blue Grass Community Foundation’s website. According to the website, the challenge has raised $11.7 million for nonprofit organizations since 2011. On bggives.org beginning on Dec. 1, those who choose to donate can browse through more than 100 nonprofits in the Bluegrass region, learn more about them and support them with donations.

Seven Boyle County nonprofit organizations are participating in the challenge this year, said Kate Snyder, associate director of the Art Center of the Bluegrass, one of the organizations participating, and she said in an email that “The Hudson-Ellis Fund is putting up $20,000 in matching funds for Boyle County nonprofits, along with more than $300,000 in other matches open to nonprofits” throughout Central Kentucky.

She said the Art Center typically hosts a kick-off event for participating local organizations, but that will not be possible this year. Otherwise, the challenge won’t be much different than previous years because the challenge has always been virtual, but many of the organizations are hoping to offset losses due to the pandemic through the fundraiser, she said.

The Advocate-Messenger got statements through email from each of the Boyle County nonprofits participating about how they are involved, their fundraising goals and what the organizations plan to do with the money raised. Answers have been lightly edited for stylistic reasons.

CASA of the Bluegrass

“As one of central Kentucky’s nonprofit organizations, CASA of the Bluegrass participates in the GoodGiving Challenge to encourage a diverse demographic of donors and boost yearly giving. Our goal is to raise at least $10,000! These funds will be used to serve the abused and neglected children we are appointed to who are currently in the Family Court system. COVID-19 has overwhelmed the child welfare system and our advocacy services are needed now more than ever.”

– Laura Weddle, executive director of CASA of the Bluegrass

Art Center of the Bluegrass

“The Art Center’s goal is to raise $10,000 during the Challenge. We will be using funds raised during the challenge to support our winter programs. We are bracing for continued social distancing and limitations on our in-person programming this winter and are preparing for a lot of great online and virtual programs, including virtual field trips for 1,500 or more students throughout Central Kentucky in February and March. Even while we are working to expand our program offerings to serve the region, we are facing the reality of decreased income from avenues like building rentals and in-person classes so donations really make a huge difference in helping us meet our mission.”

– Kate Snyder, associate director of Art Center of the Bluegrass

Family Services Association of Boyle County, Inc.

“Family Services Association was one of the first 100 agencies to join this year’s GoodGiving Challenge because the monies raised are an important part of our budget. We have tried to contact previous donors and perspective donors by email, USPS, and social media. We not only want to ask for donations this year but also to thank them for previous donations. Our goal is ‘as much as we can!’  Some of our funds are allotted to certain age groups or certain expenditures. This money allows us to offer emergency assistance with utility disconnect notices, evictions, and first month rent. Because of the flexibility in GoodGiving donations, we are able to assist more people with more services. We are finding that people who have never sought our assistance before are needing it and in larger amounts, mostly based on the loss of jobs due to COVID-19 and the problems with the unemployment system. It is our mission to serve this community. GoodGiving funds helps us accomplish this.”

– Crystal McPherson, outgoing executive director of Family Services Association of Boyle County, Inc.

Wilderness Trace Child Development Center

“GoodGiving Challenge is a lifeline for Wilderness Trace Child Development Center. Everyone’s gifts directly impact the sweetest, most vulnerable little children in our communities. Our largest service area is Boyle County with Lincoln County a close second. Visit www.bggives.org/wtcdc to provide early intervention for students who need access to multiple therapies, social engagement and preschool activities.”

“Donations through GoodGiving are applied to our greatest needs. Therapy equipment, inclusive materials and supporting health and wellness. Please help us raise $30,000 this year in the challenge. Funding streams have been reduced greatly due to COVID, which has impacted us in the short term and could have a long-lasting impact on the future of Wilderness Trace.”

“Wilderness Trace Child Development Center is so unique. For years I have thought of the center as a necessity for children who most likely we be at home until public school where inclusion is less likely. Recently, I began to realize how fortunate the community is to nurture a space where the children contribute. All this time I felt we were giving. The truth is, receiving is more impactful. Please show your love and create moments for children to shine, regardless of abilities. Join us in the GGC for one week and watch our Facebook page for unique matching gifts!”

– Libby Suttles, executive director of Wilderness Trace Child Development Center

Arts Commission of Danville/Boyle County

“To access our donor page after 9 a.m. on Dec. 1 through Dec. 7, go to  bggives.org/danvillearts click on ‘donate’ and follow the instructions! It’s easy! Our goal is $5,000, which we hope to get matched at 50 cents on each dollar through the generosity of the Hudson-Ellis Fund. We will use the funds to fund our programs for children, special needs adults, seniors, and assisting artists in developing their businesses. All our programming is made possible primarily through donations and memberships.  Our programming is provided to participants fee and commission free to reduce any barriers to participation.

“Some examples of programs – Gallery Hop, original school plays, Women Writers workshops, exhibits, Youth Arts Festival, scholarships, artist entrepreneur programs, fiscal sponsorship of Scarlet Cup Theater, Danville Sings, Pieceable Friends Quilt Guild, monthly newsletter, educational and informational videos, small group art workshops, summer art camp, Arts Citizen of the Year, Louise Wilkinson High School art grant and so many more!”

“Follow us on Facebook, contact us at arts@historicdanvilleky.com, listen on Thursday on the Joe Show at 7:45 a.m., check out our website at danvillearts.org, take a look at our YouTube channel danvillearts, sign up for our print newsletter, sign up for informational emails.”

– Mimi Becker, executive director of Arts Commission of Danville/Boyle County

Great American Brass Band Festival

“GABBF is new to the GoodGiving Challenge this year, but we hope to be able to further our sponsors’ donations, increase general donations, and hopefully gain new supporters as well. We do a yearly Fall Donation Campaign via the mail which we are currently in the midst of, so GoodGiving will give some of those people an opportunity to donate online. Since we weren’t able to have the festival in 2020, we lost several sponsorships as well as income from the festival weekend with beer and drink sales, merchandise, picnic table sales, and general donations. The monies earned from this Challenge will go directly towards planning the 2021 event, which is slated June 10-12. The festival is a prized community and state event, and we’ve had a difficult last two years due to rain and COVID-19. Hopefully the support from this challenge will get us through these trying times and we will come out stronger than ever on the other end.”

– Missy Angolia, executive director of the Great American Brass Band Festival

Bluegrass Community and Technical College Danville Campus

“We are raising funds for our inaugural Degree Before Diploma Scholarship. We have a set goal of $5,000. The scholarship will provide aid to assist with removing financial barriers for underrepresented students enrolled in Dual Credit courses. We want to help students potentially earn a college degree before they graduate with a high school diploma to offset the increasing debt and attrition associated with the pursuit of higher education.”

– Michelle Carter, Danville campus director, BCTC Danville Campus

Visit bggives.org to donate to organizations of your choice in the GoodGiving Challenge between Dec. 1-Dec. 7.