Giving Tuesday marks crucial fundraising day for Southwest Virginia nonprofits

Hundreds of organizations ask for donations on eighth annual Giving Tuesday

ROANOKE, Va. – On the heels of one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, the focus shifted from giving gifts to giving back on Tuesday

It’s all part of Giving Tuesday, a day encouraging people to do good.

Last year, the one-day promotion raised more than $400 million in 24 hours.

It's a hugely important day for many organizations in Southwest Virginia.

Feeding America Southwest Virginia (FASWVA) is feeding more people in need than ever before, giving $30 million worth of food last year alone, but the organization needs your help to continue fulfilling that need.

"We never envisioned that we would have the capacity that we have today," said Pamela Irvine, president and CEO of FASWVA. "People are still struggling economically in our service area to put food on the table."

This year, Wells Fargo is teaming up with food banks across the country for a matching campaign. Wells Fargo will match up to $25,000 benefiting FASWVA for gifts made online through Dec. 31. Click here to learn more information about this matching campaign.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia needs community support to continue matching children in need with mentors. The amount of children the organization is able to help is entirely dependent upon money and volunteers. Program director Beth Reedy said donations also help support newer programs.

"We are mentoring children of incarcerated parents and children that have been affected by opioids in our community, so we are targeting those families and working with those families, so all the support that we can get from the community helps us tremendously," Reedy said.

The need is just as great at the Ronald McDonald House.

"The community is the backbone of our giving," said Anna Semonco, executive director of Ronald McDonald Charities of Southwest Virginia.

2019 marks Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Virginia’s 35th year. In honor of the anniversary, the Board of Directors set a goal to raise $35,000. Before Giving Tuesday, it had raised $15,000.

The organization supports families when they need it most.

“They were the light in our world at that point. They were everything to us,” said Cayley Pritt, who benefited from the Ronald McDonald House.

The Pritt family had to stay in the Ronald McDonald House, hours away from their West Virginia home for weeks, while their daughter received treatment for a brain tumor.

"We wouldn't have survived that hard journey if it wasn't for Ronald McDonald House. They allowed us to be close to our loved one, to be right there with her the whole way through. They helped take care of us so we could take care of her," Pritt said. "Everyone's life can change in the blink of an eye and you never know when it's going to be you and your family and your loved ones."

Click here to access a full list of organizations participating in Giving Tuesday.

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