‘Strong Sense of Community’: Giving Week Off to Strong Start

SHARON, Pa. – Giving Week, the annual PA OH Gives event organized by the Community Foundation of Western PA and Eastern OH, kicked off Saturday to help raise funds for local nonprofit organizations and charities.

The event, now in its fourth year, was created to support nonprofit organizations that could no longer host in-person fundraising events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each year, Giving Week has been successful and met with positive feedback from the community, according to Kyle English, executive director of the Community Foundation of Western PA and Eastern OH. 

This year the event will go through Friday and is partnered with 70 local nonprofit programs from Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania and Trumbull County in Ohio. This is the largest amount of programs participating in Giving Week yet, and the numbers continue to rise each year.

Each program has a profile with a short description and how donations will be used to support the community. 

“We have pretty much everything under the sun. If individuals want to help animals, we have the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter that is participating. We have different causes such as hunger and helping senior citizens. Right down to recreation with different parks,” English said. “If you have a specific cause you believe in, go to that program’s profile and donate right through the website.”

The Community Foundation will match each dollar donation to programs up until a specific monetary amount. English said this year’s maximum amount is $130,000, which is not as large as the year prior but will still be beneficial to programs. 

On top of the donation match, there are “Challenges” that can generate more money for programs. Each challenge is worth up to $500, and only one challenge win is allowed per organization. Organizations are awarded for challenges such as the first gift, first to reach their goal, farthest donor and last gift of the week.

English said this year’s event has started off strong with $185,000 already donated by Tuesday morning. He expects a steady stream of donations through the website and checks to come in through the mail. 

“This region has a very strong sense of community,” English said. “If you give individuals an opportunity to give, they’re going to help a neighbor in need.”

English said the week and the donation match wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the sponsorships from the Zekelman Fund, Dr. Robert and Vera Lartz Charitable Foundation, FNB Wealth Management, Meszaros Family Foundation, O’Brien Children Memorial Fund and the Anderson Charitable Foundation. 

Donations can be made online at paohgives.org and are being accepted and eligible for donation matches until 11:59 p.m. Friday.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.