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Thousands open wallets and hearts to help Waterbury-area nonprofits


The response from people in Connecticut has been overwhelming.

Beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday and lasting through 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the Connecticut Community Foundation, based in Waterbury, is holding its annual Give Local Day of Giving.

It’s a brief, but effective online campaign to encourage people to donate money to support more than 260 nonprofits that help out communities in the Greater Waterbury area and Litchfield Hills.

Since 2013, the Greater Waterbury Litchfield HIlls Give Local Day has raised $5.8 million for various nonprofits.

“I think there are just a lot of really, really generous people in this area who realize without the work that these nonprofits do, this isn’t as good a place to live,” said Julie Loughran, President and CEO of the Connecticut Community Foundation. 

“This is an opportunity, through Give Local, to shine a light on the nonprofit organizations that work every single day of the year to give back in the community,” Loughran said. 

The reason why so much money has been raised is because the foundation is able to provide bonus money throughout the donation period as encouragement for each nonprofit to keep those donations coming in. For instance, there’s prize money for different categories like most number of donors in a given hour or most donors overall.

Related Content: Give Local Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills helps area nonprofits

Loughran said those incentives are made possible thanks to support from various organizations and individuals stepping up to sponsor the annual event, like Ion Bank.

Here’s how it works. You log onto the Connecticut Community Foundation’s website: You’ll see a list of all of the participating nonprofits and how they help the community.

All donations made on that website until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday were boosted with $127,000 in bonus funds contributed by various businesses and individual sponsors. Nonprofits can also compete for $52,000 more in cash prizes. 

Last year, 4,400 individuals donated to the nonprofits whose missions ranged from feeding the hungry to helping kids to promoting the arts. 

Organizers said an event like this plays a crucial role, especially now when state and federal dollars are hard to come by.

“This period — through Give Local — is an opportunity for all of us to stand up and give back to them [nonprofits],” Loughran said.

A 14-year-old member at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury had this to say to everyone who has opened their hearts and their wallets to help donate to the place she loves to go to every day after school:

“You’re doing something good for a community that really needs it,” said Devine Holmes-McKenna. 

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