Giving Tuesday bounty delivered

Skye Kinkade
Representatives from Siskiyou County non-profits, including Sisson Museum, the Mt. Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center, Stable Hands, Save the Rain, and Siskiyou Land Trust, came together with staff from the Shasta Regional Community Foundation to celebrate the spoils of North State Giving Tuesday. All told, Siskiyou County nonprofits raised $125,000 through the online philanthropic event. See story on A6.

The more than $125,000 raised for Siskiyou County nonprofits during the first North State Giving Tuesday event will impact local communities – and beyond – in a myriad of ways.

For example, it will provide interpreters for Panther Meadows, help Mount Shasta residents and visitors better understand the area’s history, assist veterans access equine-assisted therapy, and help preserve Mount Shasta’s rural landscape.

The funds raise will help find homes for dogs and cats, provide meals for those who are hungry, and help protect victims of domestic violence.

Across the globe, in East Africa, money gifted to the Mount Shasta-based organization Save the Rain will help provide clean drinking water for hundreds of people.

Representatives from several participating organizations came together last week at the Shasta Regional Community Foundation office in Mount Shasta to celebrate the successful day of giving.

Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center board treasurer Andy Fusso said they received nearly $10,000 from the event, “which is a big chunk in our budget... especially because we run on a shoestring, with part time staff and volunteers.”

“We're really grateful,” said Ecology Center program director Phoenix Lawhon Isler.

The Center plans to put that money toward several projects, including its efforts to stop geothermal fracking at Medicine Lake, which is a sacred place for Native Americans and provides clean water for the entire state, since it empties into Shasta Dam, Fusso said. It will also help support the Center’s program to provide interpreters for Panther Meadows and their climate adaption program.

Stable Hands executive director Jay Perkins said their Giving Tuesday donations totaled $13,000 – much more than they expected. The money will help the organization achieve its mission: to promote physical, mental, and social health through equine assisted activities and therapy. That includes disabled children and adults, as well as veterans.

“Our 20th anniversary is next year,” Perkins said on Dec. 29. “This is a wonderful way to begin our 20th anniversary year.”

Even after Giving Tuesday ended, Stable Hands board president Kathy Crossman said donations have continued to come in.

Siskiyou Land Trust representative Renee Casterline agreed: the giving that began on Giving Tuesday continued throughout the month of December. The Land Trust’s Giving Tuesday donations totaled $15,516.31, with an additional $3,500 coming in at their office on the day of the event.

“Our hearts are touched by the outpouring of support, not only to our organization, but to all of our sister organizations that benefited through Giving Tuesday,” said Casterline. “People were able to give to multiple organizations through this platform, and they did! As much as Giving Tuesday was a fund raiser, it also raised a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm.”

“The impact of North State Giving Tuesday touches the Land Trust in several ways,” Casterline added. “The funds are an important infusion to support an organization that typically receives major funding on a three to four year interval. Additionally, the enthusiasm for Giving Tuesday feeds the soul of the organization’s board, volunteers and staff as we feel the embrace of the community.”

Kelly Coleman, founder of Save the Rain, received a Giving Tuesday check for just over $18,000. She said that amount will be multiplied by seven by Mount Shasta Rotary with help from Rotary International.

“So this $18,000 has just been turned into a whole bunch of money,” Coleman said. The more than $125,000 will go to provide clean drinking water for people of Tanzania, Africa.

Specifically, it will provide community rainwater harvesting systems, residential rainwater systems, reforestation, sanitation education, sustainable agriculture education, and monitoring and evaluation for the organization's programs.

Celebrating philanthropy

“This was a wonderful way for us all to get together and celebrate such an amazing event,” said Kerry Caranci, CEO of Shasta Regional Community Foundation, coordinator of the local Giving Tuesday event. “Since it was online, it was great to celebrate the success together.”

Those who donated on Thursday, Dec. 1 through the website were able to give to several local organizations close to their hearts. Donors’ dollars went further as the Knodel Family Endowment Fund provided $75,000 in incentives – each participating nonprofit received a percentage of that amount based on the total amount they raised, said Audra Gibson, the Foundation’s Siskiyou County staff representative.

The Foundation set a goal of raising $150,000 for non-profits in Siskiyou and Shasta counties. Their goal was reached by 12:30 p.m. that day and was more than doubled by 6 p.m. with a grand total of $329,201 funneled into north state nonprofits from more than 2,000 transactions processed through the website.

“We had hoped we would beat our goal,” said Caranci, “but we had no idea the generosity we’d see.”

Fourteen Siskiyou County non profit organizations participated, Gibson said. Those included Free the Need, Great Northern Services, Mt. Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center, Mt. Shasta Trail Association, Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum, Save the Rain, Scott Valley Family Resource Center, Siskiyou Domestic Violence & Crisis Center, Siskiyou Family YMCA, Siskiyou Food Assistance, Siskiyou Humane Society, Siskiyou Land Trust, Stable Hands, and Rotary Club of Weed.

Of the total gross of $422,201 raised, Siskiyou County nonprofits raised $128,906. The rest went to non-profits in Shasta County.

The total gross included 12 prize challenges of $1,500 won by six organizations in each county. Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum won four, Siskiyou Land Trust and Siskiyou Food Assistance won one each.

“It was great to see how well our county performed in the event,” said Gibson. “How gratifying that our collective efforts put over $125,000 out to the nonprofits here as a healthy boost to do the great work they do. I’m excited for next year’s event on November 29th.”