The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and Sacramento County’s stay-at-home order that prohibits large gatherings have caused local nonprofits to cancel their spring and summer fundraisers.
Some of those organizations like Elk Grove Food Bank Services need more financial support than ever in order to help a rising number of community members in need. The food bank’s executive director, Marie Jachino told the Citizen that her nonprofit experienced a 594% increase in new clients since mid-March and they now serve more than 7,000 people a month.
“The food bank must purchase produce and special dietary foods to meet the needs of chronically ill and low-income seniors,” she said.
The food bank was among nearly 30 Elk Grove-based nonprofits that received a boost in support last week when the Big Day of Giving, an annual 24-hour online fundraiser, was held. This fundraiser is organized by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation every year.
The organizers announced that the 2020 Big Day raised a total of $11.9 million for 615 nonprofits across the Sacramento region. They said this amount exceeded last year’s amount of $8.4 million.
As for the Elk Grove Food Bank Services, they raised more than $41,000 this year.
“This funding will go directly to purchase healthy, nutritious food to the growing need in our community,” Jachino said.
The Strauss Festival of Elk Grove was canceled this year for the first time in its 33-year history. This summertime tribute to the music of Johann Strauss Jr. and the dance of 19th century Austria was to be held at Elk Grove Regional Park in late July. Organizers decided to cancel this year’s festival since dancers were unable to rehearse under the stay-at-home order.
During the Big Day of Giving, the Strauss Festival raised more than $10,000 in donations.
“Our ‘Waltzing in Wonderland’ (theme) will be back in 2021 strong, and with the excellence our patrons expect of Strauss,” Strauss Festival co-chair Margie Jones said.
The Soroptimist International of Elk Grove, an organization that runs leadership and career development programs for women and girls, exceeded their fundraising goal of $2,500. They plan to use the funds for programs such as Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls, and Helping Hands, which supports elderly women in the Elk Grove community.
The group’s Big Day of Giving Team Captain Tracey Edwards told the Citizen her group was pleased with the fundraising results.
“Our club decided ahead of time that we were going to do a low-key ‘Ask’ since people are going through difficult and uncertain times,” she said. “We were thrilled and pleased to raise even more money than our goal. It just shows what a wonderful and generous community Elk Grove is.”
Chicks in Crisis, an Elk Grove-based nonprofit that helps young mothers and their families, raised more than $17,000 during the Big Day of Giving. They spent this spring collecting diapers for parents in need during the coronavirus situation.
“We are so incredibly blessed by the outpouring of donations received this year on the Big Day of Giving,” Chicks in Crisis founder Inez Whitlow said. “Thank you for being our angels and helping us save babies.”
She mentioned that parents who need diapers, wipes, and baby formula can contact her group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the local nonprofits that benefitted from the Big Day of Giving, visit www.BigDayOfGiving.org.