Georgetown County nonprofits ‘had a good day’

By The Editorial Board

The first Palmetto Giving Day, a new Grand Strand connection to Give Local America, raised $676,693 for 33 Georgetown County nonprofits on May 2. The total includes the nonprofits’ matching funds.

“This is a prime example of Georgetown County nonprofits working together,” said Ashley Nelson of the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, Pawleys Island. Nelson is project manager for Palmetto Giving Day. Participating nonprofits were required to raise a minimum $1,000; and many raised several thousand dollars.

For example, the S.C. Environmental Law Project, a statewide organization headquartered in Georgetown, had a $30,000 match to go with the $24,727 donated online in the 24-hour period on May 2.

“We had a good day,” said Filippo Ravalico, program manager for SCELP. “Internally, we’re still getting checks.”

The Palmetto Giving Day total of $54,727 includes only the online contributions made in 24 hours, plus the matching funds.

The $30,000 matching money marks the 30th anniversary of the Law Project. Ravalico notes that five of the contributions toward the matching funds were from board members. The main 30-year celebration will be in November.

The Bunnelle Foundation supported Lowcountry Giving Day, which ended in 2016. Two dozen Georgetown County nonprofits collectively raised $369,000 in 2016. When it was announced that the Lowcountry event would not be done, 11 directors of Georgetown County nonprofits approached Bunnelle about starting a Giving Day for Georgetown County. The foundation, which regularly supports Georgetown County nonprofits, made a $5,000 grant to purchase the hosting platform services of Kimbia, a main host site for Give Local America. Bunnelle also made matching grants to 20 of the participating organizations.

Helping Hands of Georgetown raised $81,820. Teach My People collected $59,655. Both totals include their matches. Eric Spatz, executive director of Teach My People, was among the 11 directors who proposed a Georgetown County event.

Palmetto Giving Day was a first-time experience for the Pawleys Island Child Development Center in Pawleys Island. Executive director Lillian Reid is thrilled.

“I felt like a child on Christmas Day,” she said.

The center collected a total of $32,980, including a match of $11,000. Reid is proud to say, “We made the match by 11 a.m.”

Other top participants were Birds of Prey, $41,510; Family Justice Center, $41,391; Habitat for Humanity, $37,582; Friendship Place, $36,929; The Village Group, $33,325.

Nelson, of the Bunnelle Foundation, describes Palmetto Giving Day as “Truly a grassroots effort. It was an amazing experience, not only for the nonprofits, but also for the community as a whole to come together.”

Other Palmetto Giving Day participants and totals:

A Father’s Place, $19,000; Amazing Journey, $2,380; Barnabas Horse, $2,400; Bibleway Community Learning Center, $5,702; Brookgreen Gardens, $2,625; Carolina Human Reinvestment, $19,235; Center for Heirs Property Preservation, $10,074; Children’s Recovery Center, $22,400; Cultural Council of Georgetown, $6,770; Dragon Boat @ The Beach, $1,600; Freedom Readers, $17,218; Friends of Coastal South Carolina, $21,775; Hugs for Horses Therapeutic Riding Program, $22,305; Good Friends, $2,800; MI 2020, $19,220; Miss Ruby’s Kids, $29,188; Pee Dee Community Project, $2,510; Rape Crisis Center, $2,410; Smith Medical Clinic, $17,731; St. Frances Animal Center, $22,875; The Mitney Project, $18,201; Tidelands Community Hospice Foundation, $3,500; Winyah Rivers Foundation, $23,403; YMCA, $9,623.