ABILENE, Texas — Abilene Gives fundraiser events continue in the Big Country with 139 participating nonprofits. More than $530,000 had been collected as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Abilene Gives website.
Back in 2020, $1.3 million was raised to support local nonprofit causes.
The Abilene Gives 4 the Community event is marking its fifth year as it continues to host the 24-hour day of giving to support local nonprofits both small and large.
Nonprofit organizations such as Kinship Youth Inc. are continuing to receive funds through the event and are excited and optimistic. This organization is going on its third year participating in Abilene Gives. The group's overall vision is to build relationships while building disciples. Its goal is to show the children and teens they serve the love of Jesus through relationship building as they continue to invest in the future and lives - such as showing up to their sports tournaments, choir concerts and other events. The nonprofit also hosts weekly Bible studies and community service events, provides youth conferences and camps for its participants to continue providing opportunities for exposure.
Gregory Johnson, Kinship Youth Inc. director, and his wife run the nonprofit together. He said they have been able to raise $500 and $600 in previous years. This year's goal was somewhere around $5,000. Despite them pushing through to get donations because Johnson said anything helps so they can be able to continue to move ahead.
"We are all investors. Rather it is in the community, the betterment of the city, our teens, our youth. We are all investors. So, everyone plays a part in making this thing grow... So, we are excited and happy no matter which nonprofit they decide to help out," Johnson said.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson said he believes people are not donating for other reasons.
"Right now, a lot of people are dealing with other situations. People with jobs, you know, are dealing with different things. People had to go into savings and may not be in a position where they may not have been able to donate as much as they were in a previous year," Johnson said.
Johnson said the vision is to expand the nonprofit's reach and open up a teen community outreach center shortly where everyday teens in Abilene would always have a haven to go for tutoring and other outreach events.
This is Mission Abilene's first time participating in the day-long fundraiser. The organization was at a little more than $100 in donations Tuesday afternoon, but is pushing forward with an optimistic outlook.
Pastor Billy Bardin said the organization is going to fill the void no matter what the outcome is. However, donations do help nonprofits such as Mission Abilene survive.
"The folks here in Abilene. They realize that it has made an impact and that it has affected us. You know, it's affected many different non-profit organizations, and we cannot function without the additional ministries. I know last year hit us hard, you know, with COVID-19," Bardin said.
The mission of Mission Abilene is to reach out to the forsaken and the forgotten, including the homeless population and or those who are addicted to drugs. They are serving close to 200 people and counting those who come from Abilene and the surrounding areas.
Abilene Gives will be accepting donations from anyone at abilenegives.org. The deadline to send in gifts is midnight Tuesday. There is no limit to how many organizations one can donate to and the minimum donation is $10.
Anyone is also welcome to drop off donations in person at the Abilene Gives headquarters, 850 N. 1st St. The deadline to drop off in-person donations is at 5 p.m. Tuesday
A list of all participating nonprofit organizations is on its website. There you can learn more about the missions and contributions the organizations bring to Abilene and surrounding communities.