SYCAMORE – Braving the rain Thursday, Josh Crittenden of World Famous Pizza brought in $200 in cash, much in $1 bills, to donate to Tails Humane Society as part of Give DeKalb County.
The annual 24-hour fundraiser is coordinated by the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership, a program by the DeKalb County Community Foundation, and benefits more than 100 nonprofit organizations across the county. Donors could donate at the foundation's headquarters, 475 DeKalb Ave., or online at GiveDeKalbCounty.org.
Crittenden said he was just the deliverer of the funds, which had been collected from World Famous Pizza patrons.
“That was in the store for a couple of weeks,” he said, referencing the plastic box that sat at the counter of the pizzeria, tempting generous customers ahead of the sixth annual giving day.
Danielle Hoske, development and marketing manager for Tails, was on hand to accept the donation Thursday and to volunteer along with other nonprofit staff around town. Hoske said Tails hopes to raise $20,000.
“All that will go to the shelter’s general operating costs,” she said. “It will help run the shelter, provide food and medical treatment to the animals.”
As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Tails had less than $3,000 left to raise before reaching its goal.
The event aims to attract donors with the addition of a bonus pool of funds, which are awarded to local organizations based on the share of the total donations they receive. The bonus pool for this year was up to $63,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
Ben Bingle, director for the nonprofit partnership, said the day represents a coming together of organizations and DeKalb County residents supporting not just a single nonprofit, but many that offer vital services to the area.
“We’ve been slammed,” Bingle said Thursday around noon, as he and other staff and volunteers worked to process donations and update the real-time fundraiser counter on the foundation’s website. In a half hour, the total jumped from $280,000 to more than $300,000. By 6 p.m. Thursday, donors had raised a collective $550,000, with six hours left to donate. More than 1,300 people had donated as of 6 p.m.
Nonprofits around the county celebrated the day and encouraged donor participation in a variety of ways. The Egyptian Theatre broadcast a Facebook Live video at the top of every hour, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Other organizations, such as Safe Passage Inc., Pay-It-Forward House and the DeKalb County Community Gardens were also posting Facebook updates as the day went on.
“I think it’s just really inspirational to see so many people come to this event,” said Hoske, who’s been volunteering for the giving day for years now. “Every donation counts, and it shows how we work together.”
Donors had until midnight Thursday to give. In-person donations ended at 8 p.m.