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Nonprofits rely on online fundraising in wake of virus

  • Written by Laura Guido
Sno-Valley Senior Center chef Jennifer Berg (background) and Thrift Store Manager Angie Hartung (foreground) prepare lunch. Courtesy photo

 

Sno-Valley Senior Center may have shuttered its doors, but staff members haven’t stopped serving the surrounding community despite its main sources of fundraising having been postponed or eliminated. 

That's why this year’s statewide online campaign GiveBig Washignton is particularly critical. 

As of May 10, the center had raised $9,818 through the annual drive to benefit nonprofits and charitable causes in the state. 

The funds go toward the senior center’s dining program, which serves about 45 meals per day according to Program Coordinator Kira Avery. There is also a social worker on staff contacting between 30 and 50 people each week and continuing grief support groups and caregiver support groups online, Avery said. 

Early May normally would’ve marked the center’s annual plant sale, which typically raises about $20,000 for the organization, she said. 

Although the center still needs monetary contributions, Avery said this year’s efforts through GiveBig Washington have helped fill a significant funding gap. 

The fundraiser also supported the efforts of Carnation Farms, a nonprofit growing operation that focuses on education. As of May 10, the organization had raised $1,570 through GiveBig Washington. 

Carnation Farms is considered essential under the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and has kept its farm stand open seven days a week. Hand sanitizer and gloves are available for customers and staff, and the maximum capacity has been limited to 10 people for safety, according to the farm’s website. The farm also put in place a delivery service in the immediate area for those who cannot visit the stand. 

“We feel honored to be growing and providing local organic food for the community as well as educate new farmers to help transform the future of agriculture and food,” Interim Executive Director Nadja Wilson said in an email. 

Summer youth programs are canceled this year as well as other events and classes that would normally take place on the large property. However, Wilson told the Snoqualmie Valley Record recently that the Growing Farmers training program is going ahead and that keeping social distance would be manageable on the 818-acre property.

Several other local nonprofits have benefited from the GiveBig Washington fundraising effort, which raised money for more than 1,600 charities, according to its website. Although its main effort spanned May 5 and 6, the website will continue to accept donations until midnight on May 15. 

To donate or learn more, visit givebigwa.org 

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