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Nonprofits head into giving season with community events

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Last year, charitable giving represented 2.1 percent of overall U.S. gross domestic product. That’s a record $410 billion in donations, with 70 percent coming from individuals, according to an annual report on philanthropy from Giving USA.

A survey from the nonprofit Insider Network shows much of those funds are concentrated in the fourth quarter, as nearly 30 percent of nonprofits almost half of their annual operating budgets in year-end donations.

A few local fundraisers and community service projects are happening over the next week.

Spotlight on domestic violence
Harmony House kicks off its iCare campaign on Monday with a goal to raise $300,000 over the monthlong fundraiser, said spokeswoman Jackie Langdon. Last year’s event raised over $240,000.

She said 500 local businesses and organizations plan to host fundraisers throughout the month to bring awareness to domestic violence in the Springfield area.

Springfield Police Department statistics show a 12 percent jump in domestic violence cases from 2012 to 2017, with 2,902 reported cases last year.

Langdon said there’s no evidence to show a particular time of year creates a spike in domestic violence, however, “we do see greater demand for our services from July through January.”

“The stress of the holidays, higher frequency of drinking due to holiday parties and presence of children due to holiday vacations may be triggers for an abuser,” Langdon said via email, adding, “but they are not the cause of the abuse.”

Run for good
Care to Learn will host its annual Panther Run on Oct. 6. Over 1,000 runners will gather for 5K, 10K and 15K races to raise funds and support for the health, hunger and hygiene needs of school kids in the community, according to the nonprofit’s executive director Linda Ramey-Greiwe.

Last year’s races raised just over $73,000, and this year’s goal is $75,000, she said.

The nonprofit sees a shift in demand for services as the winter months near.

“Each year we work with the school staff in the fall to remind them to look for students who need warmer clothes,” Ramey-Greiwe said via email. “Students may still be wearing summer clothes. … When the cold weather of winter arrives, more students will need coats, gloves and boots.”

Care to Learn is organized through 34 chapters across the state to meet the needs of children.

Neighborhood cleanup
One hundred volunteers from six local churches will address neighborhood cleanup needs in Woodland Heights through Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, Missouri Inc.’s fifth Rock the Block event tomorrow.

Thrivent Financial is funding the 22 painting and yard-cleanup projects for neighborhood residents, said spokeswoman Abby Glenn. The number of projects doubled from the last Rock the Block event in June.

Glenn said Habitat for Humanity sees a higher demand in requests for assistance through its home preservation and repair program in the fall and winter months.

Also in Woodland Heights, Habitat began construction of its first new build project as part of its Neighborhood Revitalization program in mid-August, she said, adding the nonprofit is in need of volunteers to complete construction. The home is slated for completion in the beginning of the year.

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