Preparation is underway for WyoBraska Gives, which will take place on May 5. This year, the event will include some new elements.
WyoBraska Gives is a 24-hour giving day event that connects donors with area non-profits.
“This year, we’re going to be adding volunteer hours,” organizer Becky Horne said.
The Holliday Family of Companies will be the title sponsor of the event again this year.
“We’re extremely excited,” Phillip Holliday said. “Giving back to our community is so important to us.”
This year, there will be more than one way to give. In addition to a ticker counting monetary donations on wyobraskagives.org, there will be a ticker for pledged volunteer hours.
Some people, Horne said, may not have money to give but they may be able to donate a few hours of their time.
“Volunteer hours are as good as gold,” Horne said.
She feels that more people in the community would volunteer if they knew how to go about it.
As with monetary donations, volunteers can create an account and browse the non-profits, or search for one that fits their interests.
Once a non-profit is selected, making a donation is “just as simple as checking out on Amazon,” Horne said.
Last year, 106 non-profits participated in the giving day, with more than $477865 being raised. Horne hopes to add more organizations this year.
“We’re shooting for 30-50 new non-profits to get involved,” Horne said.
United Way of Western Nebraska executive director Steph Black said giving days are huge for non-profits. The local United Way chapter helps supports 30 of them.
“Funding dollars are getting fewer and far between and the amount of people those agencies are serving continue to grow,” Black said.
Non-profit registration is open until April 15. To register, visit the WyoBraska Gives website and watch the on-boarding tutorial for instructions on how to register.
“Non-profits that are already registered don’t have to go through this process again,” Horne said. “Participating non-profits will be able to ... reactivate their page without any problems.”
Organizations must be a 501(c)3 charity, serving the Oregon Trail Community Foundation’s area.
Although WyoBraska Gives isn’t until May, organizers hope to get people in the spirit of giving early. From 5-8 p.m. on March 12, the Scottsbluff and Gering Public Schools Foundation will host “Strong Together” Business After Hours at Gering High School.
The event will highlight the work of students at both schools and is family-friendly and open to the public. Culinary Arts students from both schools will serve hors d’oeuvres and members of the student council will give tours of the building.
“The event itself is going to be student led in a lot of ways,” sAlyssa Harvey of the Scottsbluff Public Schools Foundation said.
A silent auction will be made up of “experience packages,” including a fully catered graduation reception at each school, Harvey said.
Like last year, another element of WyoBraska Gives will be a Saint Patrick’s Day-themed treasure hunt. The first person to solve the clues and find the treasure chest, will get $1,000. As the event gets closer, more details will be released.
Last year, “we were able to be there when she found the treasure and she was just so excited and happy,” Brent Holliday said.
Businesses who are interested in sponsorship opportunities for “Stronger Together” and WyoBraska Gives should contact Horne at beckyhorne.LMT@gmail.com.