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Brazos Valley Gives celebrates community philanthropy with its third consecutive record-breaking year in earnings

The organization revealed it earned over $926,000 for the 154 nonprofits across the Brazos Valley who participated
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 11:35 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Brazos Valley Gives hosted its celebration of community philanthropy at the Bush School of Government & Public Service Tuesday evening.

The organization revealed it earned over $926,000 for the 154 nonprofits across the Brazos Valley who participated. It marks the third consecutive year in which Brazos Valley Gives broke its earnings record, meaning the event has always raised more money than it did in the previous year.

”We are just working our way to a million, and we are so thrilled,” Brazos Valley Gives Co-chair Molly Watson said. “There are so many nonprofits here that really can testify to our incredible quality of living happens because of our generous community.”

“What is really nice about tonight is that this is Philanthropy Week, and many of you know that today is the National Day of Giving, so it’s a perfect segue to have our big celebration tonight,” Brazos Valley Give Co-chair Julie Porter said.

The organization says the average donation was $171.79, and 41% of the donors were first-time donors to a nonprofit.

Hillary Oswald is the director of Mending Hearts Grief Center, one of the nonprofits organizations that participated this year.

”It was such an incredible experience,” Oswald said. “Last year we participated, and we raised about $6,000, and this year we raised close to $20,000, so it’s life-changing for all the people who are impacted by our organization.”

Mending Hearts provides peer support groups and other programming for families, individuals, and children who a grieving the death of a loved one. Oswald says they are able to fund a lot of their programs, the biggest of which is their children’s program, with the money they raised.

Brazos Valley Gives also handed out an additional $110,000 in prizes and awards. These included awards for highest hourly earners on the day of giving, and six golden ticket drawings that gave away an extra $2,500 each.

Mending Hearts received one of those highest earner awards.

“It was awesome. We worked really hard to try and win that hour, so I was super excited that we won that,” Oswald said. “It was kind of just like that little extra icing on the cake.”

“We had a really incredible anonymous donor who holds a fund at the community foundation, and this donor looked at all of the profiles of our participating nonprofits and gave $77,000 and divided among 16 nonprofits that really spoke to their passion and their heart,” Watson said. “That was also a very special surprise for those nonprofits tonight.”

Brazos Valley Gives raised over $130,000 more than they did in 2020. An additional 18 nonprofits participated this year, which is a 13% increase from last year. In fact, out of the six counties in the Brazos Valley with participating organizations, all but one had more nonprofits participate in 2021 than in 2020.

“It was just really nice to be able to see people’s faces again and their smiles and the enthusiasm,” Porter said. “Last year, everything was pretty much done by Zoom in the planning process, so this was just a great feeling. I think everyone is just so happy to be able to feel normal again, and it was reflected in the numbers, and obviously in this celebration.”

Brazos Valley Gives’ 4th annual Day of Giving is set for October 18, 2022.

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