SC Give hopes to create a culture of philanthropy

STANWOOD — Local groups have banded together for the second year to raise money for projects around Stanwood and Camano Island.

On Tuesday, an all-day, online fundraiser aims to bring in $142,750 total for 21 projects.

Groups participating in the SC Give event have requested between $2,000 and $15,000 per project. It’s a mix of local efforts to help students, seniors, low-income families, animals and others.

The first fundraising campaign, put together by the Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation, was held last year. It brought in $29,785 the day of the fundraiser. Another $10,000 came in after, and the nonprofits attributed those donations to the campaign, said Bev Pronishan, the foundation’s executive director.

People “felt it was the beginning of something that would continue to build momentum and expand into a major community event over time,” she said.

SC Give is meant to create a culture of philanthropy, she said. It’s a gateway for people to learn about local nonprofits and projects, then give to the ones that resonate with them.

Last year, 140 people contributed. Pronishan would like to see 500 donate this year. Getting people to give back to their community is more important than the size of the donations, she said.

“In terms of dollars, our overall event goal is $100,000,” she said. “But if one wealthy donor donated the entire $100,000, I would consider the event a failure.”

Many of this year’s projects are geared toward supporting education. Organizations are raising money for college scholarships, high school woodwind classes and a program to send low-income students to leadership and business events. The Port Susan Farmers Market is seeking donations for a kids’ healthy-eating program and Davis Place Teen Center for after-school activities. Village Community Services would use the money to provide classes for people with disabilities and the local Rotary would give books to preschoolers.

The Stanwood Camano Food Bank is raising money for three separate projects: warm coats for kids; gifts for children through Christmas House; and weekend meals for students from low-income families.

Some organizations are looking to support existing efforts, such as Hope Unlimited’s program for single-parent families or assistance for seniors through the Camano Center or Senior Services of Island County. The Camano Center is hoping to expand a thrift shop that provides operating money for the center. The new Stanwood-Camano YMCA is gathering funds for a wellness program for cancer survivors. Safe Harbor Free Clinic is accepting donations for disease prevention and education programs.

Other groups have specific, short-term projects in mind. The Camano Schoolhouse Foundation wants to build a ramp and make other improvements so the historic building would be accessible by wheelchair. The Stanwood Community and Senior Center also wants to add a ramp to make emergency evacuations easier for those using walkers or wheelchairs. Design Stanwood plans to install information kiosks at Ovenell Park and Hamilton Landing. The Stanwood Area Historical Society is working toward building a veterans memorial.

For animal lovers, there are fundraisers to cover veterinary care for strays and low-cost spaying or neutering for pets.

On Tuesday, credit card processing fees are covered so all donated money would go straight to the projects.

There are prizes throughout the day. The early bird prize is $500 to the project with the highest number of different donors by 9 a.m. From noon to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m., the first four $250 donations will be matched by local businesses.

For those who don’t know which project to give to but still want to donate, there is a “Share the Love” fund that will be split between the organizations.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

How to help

To donate to SC Give, go to scgive.org between 12:01 a.m. and and 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

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