For Community House on Broadway, this year’s Give More 24! is for the kids.
The sixth annual 24-hour give-a-thon will provide as many as 170 area nonprofits a chance to collect online donations on Sept. 19. In years past, the event has raised more than $1 million from almost 3,700 donors, according to a press release.
Community Foundation for Southwest Washington hosts Give More 24! each year. The online event runs midnight to midnight. Donors can go to givemore24.org and browse the list of nonprofits to find a cause to support. All donations will also be tracked on the website in real time.
Organizers have set a goal to raise $1.6 million from almost 4,200 donors in this year’s drive. The list of participating nonprofits and registration can be found online.
Community House Executive Director Frank Morrison said the shelter and service center is eager to get funding to staff its children’s programs.
Community House runs a six-week summer program and offers daycare during nine substance use disorder sessions for residents each week. The goal, Morrison said, is to allow parents to get help without having to worry about having a safe place for their kids.
“We just gotta make sure we can take care of the kids,” Morrison said, noting that funds from Give More 24! will help provide their resident children with snacks, activities and proper staffing to keep the daycare safe and engaging.
Morrison said Community House is facing a shortage of funding after United Way recently cut back its annual donation from about $11,000 — and sometimes up to $30,000 — to $5,000.
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Morrison said that, while the idea of Give More 24! is a 24-hour donation drive, Community House needs donations year-round.
“For (Give More 24!), it’s 24 hours, but it’s 24/7 here,” Morrison said. “We have the population here that if we’re ever going to advance and not stay stuck (in homelessness) we have to help these people here.”
Morrison said one of the biggest challenges facing Community House in recent years is paying operational expenses, such as water, sewage and gas bills. Many grants and similar donations require a nonprofit to use it for a specific purpose, typically chosen by the donor, Morrison said.
Give More 24! doesn’t require nonprofits to earmark how funds are spent, meaning that Morrison and his staff could save it for an emergency, use it for building repairs or maintenance, or put it toward bills the public often overlooks.
“(Some donors) want to see physical transformation. But helping these people on a 24/7 basis, that’s an internal transformation,” Morrison said.
Morrison said Give More 24! reassures him and his staff that the community believes in them.
“(Give More 24!) gives us a boost, it’s inspiring,” Morrison said. “The community and Southwest Washington looks to us to help solve the homeless problem. ... I believe we are successful.”