Brazos Valley Gives

Polli Satterwhite, left, of the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley hands promotional materials for Brazos Valley Gives to Ellen Mitchell of Watchdog Network, center, and Dee Farlough of Brazos School during the kickoff event held Thursday at the Veranda in Bryan.

You can read more about the day of giving here

For 18 hours on Oct. 22, the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley will be accepting monetary donations in-person and online for about 100 local nonprofits as part of a new mass fundraising campaign known as Brazos Valley Gives.

The campaign was announced Thursday with a reception and “ribbon cutting” at the Veranda in Bryan.

“Giving days are held throughout the United States, and five years ago when I joined Community Foundation, I learned about those days,” said Community Foundation President Patricia Gerling. “I thought, ‘oh my gosh, wouldn’t it be great to have one day to have people donate to our community?’ ”

For Bryan-College Station, Community Foundation leaders hope to raise $500,000 through the inaugural campaign. While the organization normally works to connect nonprofits to donors by establishing funds, as well as assist nonprofits in investing their money, the event will be unlike anything the organization has done.

From 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. Oct. 22, the public will be able to visit the Brazos Valley Gives website and donate online, or make in-person donations outside The Eagle front office at 1729 Briarcrest Drive.

“This event is to uplift all nonprofits in our community,” explained Community Foundation board member Julie Porter. “We all know some have stronger boards and bigger presences in the community, and this levels the playing field so everyone can participate.”

Donors may select the nonprofit of their choice to receive an amount of their choosing, after browsing through alphabetically organized profiles and need statements of each charity on the Brazos Valley Gives website. All organizations are registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits and include a variety of services both religious and secular.

Sam Hill attended Thursday’s reception as a representative of the Brazos Valley African American Museum. The museum relies heavily on public funding, he said, noting that the museum is in need of a few repairs and some new appliances. Hill said the museum is hoping for upward of $5,000 in fundraising. Hill stressed that maintaining the presence of a museum in a community is important.

“We need to be able to connect with the younger generation and have them feel the same way about the museum [as we do] and want to see it stay alive,” he said.

While the museum leaders are looking to keep their facility in shape, the members of church-based nonprofit Society of St. Vincent de Paul are hoping to expand their current operation to a new building. The charity, supported by five local Catholic parishes, operates a food pantry and a thrift store in Downtown Bryan that benefits.

“The timing with this event is so perfect,” said St. Vincent pantry coordinator John Guido. “We were in the decision-making process on whether we were ready to move in to a new building, and then this came along. We [felt] encouraged to move forward with new store.”

Members of Tiny Hope Village hope to raise money that will be used in the construction of housing for the homeless of Brazos County. Tiny Hope board member Matthew Sherman said Thursday that money raised for his organization through Brazos Valley Gives could help fund the homeless community’s infrastructure, a construction cost of approximately $30,000.

“This will absolutely be helpful,” he said of Brazos Valley Gives. “I’ve been in business for a while, and used to work in nonprofits. When a community at-large collaborates through fundraising, giving, volunteering --  that’s what it’s about. It’s not just one nonprofit addressing one problem, it’s all about a community. And [community] is one thing people really love about Bryan-College Station.”

For more information, visit www.brazosvalleygives.org. For those who will be unavailable Oct. 22, early scheduled giving begins online on Oct. 8.

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