Give4Marion offers donors and charities a new way to connect


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Posted August 7, 2020 | By Lisa McGinnes, Staff Writer

Long before most people had ever heard of coronavirus, the Community Foundation Ocala/Marion County was planning a new day of giving. Give4Marion was meant to be another way for the community to support worthy local causes. Now it may be the lifeline the charities need to stay afloat through the pandemic.

The inaugural Give4Marion campaign will take place October 20th. As simple as shopping online, the website will list participating local charities for donors to click and support. With fundraising events cancelled and community need escalating this year, nonprofits that serve Marion Countians need help now more than ever.

“Many of them are trying to make up for the loss of fundraising events and recurring donations that were to be used in their current budget cycle,” said Lauren Deiorio, president/executive director of the Community Foundation. “This is where we see Give4Marion playing a big role for many of them as they make up their losses.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Marion County is one organization that hopes to generate much needed funding.

“We have all been impacted by COVID-19, some more than others,” said CEO/Executive Director April Savarese. “We are finding that our youth are struggling and need us now more than ever. With our two major fundraising events cancelled due to COVID-19 we are finding it more difficult to fulfill our mission. The Community Foundation is providing an opportunity for us to partner to raise awareness and financial resources desperately needed for our organization to continue to serve the community.”

Although it couldn’t come at a better time, the foundation has been planning Give4Marion for a while.

“We’ve had an interest in doing a giving day and had already planned to do one this year regardless of COVID,” explained Allison Campbell, strategic communications director for the Community Foundation. “Community foundations all around the state including the Community Foundation of North Central Florida and, most recently, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, have been doing these giving days for quite some time. We had all along intended to do one this year and now we certainly see the heightened reason why it’s going to be very beneficial to our community. It has been interesting navigating what that’s going to look like and realizing that it is needed now more so than ever.”

Give4Marion is a one-day donation drive that will take place mostly online, Campbell said. However, donors who prefer to write a check or give cash will be able to drop off donations at the foundation office.

“The donors will have the opportunity on this day to actually create a shopping cart of giving,” Campbell explained. “So they can say, “I’m passionate about the arts and education and the environment,’ and they can go and look for various organizations and actually add a donation into their shopping cart. Our hope is that donors who get interested and excited about this and businesses and others who get excited about it will actually be able to see and learn about more opportunities to help in our community that people may not be aware of.”

Charlotte Martin, owner of Marion Mobile Bar & Bubbles and president of the Junior League of Ocala, called Give4Marion an “incredible resource” and said she plans to participate.

“No corner of our community has been left untouched by the effects of the pandemic as COVID continues to create unmet needs above and beyond the usual, all while simultaneously shifting how nonprofits have to operate,” Martin said. “With several facing cancelled programs and rescheduled fundraising events, our local charities are depending on the generosity of others now more than ever.”

Any 501(c)(3) organization that serves Marion County residents can sign up at www.give4marion.org.

“Our goal is that we have hundreds of nonprofits participate in this so can share their story with a much broader, larger audience,” Campbell said.

Martin sees Give4Marion as an easy way for anyone to give back.

“Any donation you can make will work to ensure the charities you care about can continue to thrive through the crisis in order to achieve their missions,” she said. “All charitable donations, no matter how small, make an impact.”