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Valley Gives readies for May 2 fundraising day



Recorder Staff
Friday, April 28, 2017

GREENFIELD — For the fifth year, Valley Gives will hold a 24-hour day of fundraising for around 400 different organizations across the Pioneer Valley, including about 50 different groups in Franklin County, ranging from non-profits to public schools and libraries.

Valley Gives is set for Tuesday, May 2. People who would like to donate can go online to the Valley Gives website and find the organization of their choice and give back that way. Donations are tax-deductible.

“Valley Gives really is proof that we are all a part to each other’s future,” Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County Marketing Director Ericka Almeida said. “Giving in the valley, the money stays in the valley. ... We like to think of it as spring giving — giving new life to things.”

Other organizations like the United Way of Franklin County see Valley Gives as a chance for everyone in the community to have a chance at fundraising and building on their bases.

“Even if your time is limited, you can still raise funds for your organization while you do what you do,” said Community Engagement Director of United Way of Franklin County Stephanie Gale. “It’s a really powerful tool no matter whether you’re a small organization or a big organization.”

This year the United Way received the assistance of local businesses to match people’s donations up to $5,000.

“It really shows that businesses are interested in supporting organizations and getting the community to support organizations,” Gale said.

The United Way has an opportunity to raise around $20,000 because not only will local businesses match up to $5,000 in donations, but also Valley Gives will potentially match groups that hit the $5,000 plateau, too — potentially quadrupling every dollar someone gives to them.

The Recover Project sees Valley Gives as an opportunity to break even when most of their internal fundraising simply helps them stay in operation.

“It gives us an opportunity to receive donations in a bigger way so that we can do more for the peers,” The Recover Project Program Director Michael Lewis said. “It’s really what it’s all about.”

Donations can also help local institutions like Sunderland Elementary School or the Friends of Greenfield Library Association.

“It’s a great idea to bring people’s consciousness to the local community,” board member of Friends of Greenfield Public Library Mary McDonough said.

McDonough added that a place like the Greenfield library fits well into the scope of Valley Gives because people from all over the county and the valley use the library.

“Greenfield library is used from people from many different cities,” McDonough said. “It’s a great way to remind everyone what they use locally.”

A few organizations will host events in conjunction with Valley Gives.

Silverthorne Theater Company will be at the Greenfield farmers market Saturday and will be informing people about its upcoming performances and special events on top of giving people a chance to win a pair of season tickets for 2018.

The Brick House Community Resource Center in Turners Falls will have its doors open May 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. People can meet staff and board members, and they will have information on programs and upcoming projects, in addition to snacks.

Franklin Land Trust will shift from its event it hosted in its building last year to hosting a hike on one of its few properties. The fairly level hike led by Steward Will Anderson will be about an hour long. People can meet at the parking lot Mohawk Trail Conservation Area, off of Route 2 in Shelburne Falls.

Valley Gives is a way that the Franklin Land Trust reaches out to people that aren’t members as they look for causes online that interest them.

“For small organizations that’s huge to be able to reach new people and people have interest in land conservation,” said Director of Philanthropy of the Franklin Land Trust Mary Sabourin.

Reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264