Monday, September 17, 2012

Day of giving works out to multimillion dollar event for Arlington and area causes

Arlington charities and nonprofits got a big boost the last few days as part of North Texas Day of Giving.
Donors gave $14.4 million to more than 900 nonprofits across the region. In Arlington, donations will help fund innovative lesson plans for school children, free community concerts, meals for the elderly, books available to Arlington community members and more.
“This day really helps people focus and reminds the community about the need,” said Kathy Jackson, executive director of Arlington ISD Education Foundation. “It gives us a great amount of publicity and helps us get out message out.”
Assorted benefit-receiving organizations are still adding results of the fourth annual Day of Giving, held on Thursday, allowed participating nonprofits to maximize donations made through Donations of $25 or more received between 7 a.m. and midnight received a partial match from organizations supporting the effort.
The percentage of the match will depend on how many donations were made, but $1 million in matching and prize funds was available from the Communities Foundation of North Texas.
More than a dozen Arlington organizations — including Meals on Wheels, Arlington Urban Ministries, Levitt Pavilion and Boys & Girls Club of Arlington, among others — participated in the event.
Arlington ISD Education Foundation, which gives $80,000 to $100,000 each year in grants to teachers, will use its donations to fund supplies and materials for classroom projects.
For example, the foundation recently paid for special genetics kits for a high school a biology class, so students could run experiments on plants. Test scores improved 8 to 17 percent after the project, Jackson said.
For Arlington Public Library Foundation, this was the first year to participate in the Day of Giving. The foundation gives thousands of dollars annually to the Arlington Public Library for renovations to buildings, summer reading and literacy programs. This year’s money will fund new collection materials, including books and audio books.
“We were so excited to take part in this opportunity,” said Andi Davis, library development coordinator. “This is an excellent way to boost the library’s collections and reach out to our community.”
University of Texas at Arlington raised $2,500 for its Moving Mavs program, which provides sport and recreation programs, including competitive athletic opportunities, to students with disabilities. The university’s wheelchair basketball team has won seven national championships since it joined the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Division in 1989-1990.
“Giving Day creates public awareness about the importance of philanthropy, not just for UT Arlington but for the many organizations across North Texas trying to raise money to survive,” said Mark LaVelle, assistant vice president for university development. “It gets people excited about giving, and it reaches people who may not have been involved in philanthropy before.”
(By: Sarah Bahari, city release)

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