ROANOKE, Va. – Nearly 4,000 people have made it possible for Roanoke Valley nonprofits to get the help they need, especially after the pandemic hit them hard.
Wednesday is Roanoke Valley Gives Day, supporting more than 140 local nonprofits.
The goal for Roanoke Valley Gives Day is to raise $900,000. However, with the help of 4,000 people, the Community Foundation serving Western Virginia raised nearly $1.1 million, smashing their initial goal.
“It’s so overwhelming. We all have all the feels — if you will — over here and we’re so proud to be part of this community. We’re so thankful for these nonprofits and all of the amazing work that they have done,” said Kaitlyn Van Buskirk, the Community Foundation grants associate
With the pandemic changing so much about our communities, the groups that make up the essence of those communities have struggled to keep up.
The Grandin Theatre is just one of those. Its lights are not quite as bright as they once were.
“Before COVID, I was a first-run movie theater and I was open 365 days a year and I showed between 120 and 140 movies a week. During COVID, I show one to two movies a week,” said Ian Fortier, executive director of the Grandin Theatre Foundation.
The Star City staple has been getting by with private rentals and more than ever, depending on community support.
“So we can continue to remain viable, so we can continue to deliver programs, so we can continue to keep our doors open, so we can continue to keep our staff employed,” Fortier said.
It’s a similar storyline for many of the non-profits participating in Roanoke Valley Gives Day, especially those trying to serve an increased need.
“People are still struggling to put food on the table, pre-COVID they did, and during COVID they have, post-COVID they will,” said Pamela Irvine, president and CEO of Feeding Southwest Virginia.
Feeding Southwest Virginia has been a lifeline for more people than ever over the past year.
The Community Solutions Center has continued providing food for children and seniors and resumed its training program to help people find jobs. Keeping all that work going is dependent on funding.
“We say $1 can provide up to five meals, so it doesn’t take a lot but everybody pulling together to make that happen is what makes it happen and we get it done together,” said Cheryl Mosley, director of the Feeding Southwest Virginia Community Solutions Center.
“You know, you have to look for a silver lining in the middle of all this and that has been to see the generosity,” Irvine said.
Click here to donate and see a full list of participating organizations.