RAPID CITY, S.D. — After a miraculous spree of giving during the holiday season, the United Way of the Black Hills has reached its fundraising goal.
On Monday, the organization was $500,000 away from its goal of raising $2,052,000 for two non-profits in the Black Hills.
The organization helps out nearly 50 non-profit organizations throughout the Black Hills.
According to United Way of the Black Hills Executive Director, Jaime Toennies, the goal was reached late Thursday afternoon.
Toennis said that people found a way to give to the non-profits who faced an increased call to service during the pandemic. She says that the organization “rallied” to meet the goal, thanks to community support.
“We had tremendous support with individuals, especially those who were really excited about the match opportunities,” Toennis said. “We raised something like $27,000 just in individual donors who gave $25 to $100, some a little more, some a little less, but on average it was in that (range).”
Toennies says that these funds will be used for education, financial stability and health/well being in the community. As far as a future outlook and programs that will need to be funded to help a community in the middle of a pandemic, she says that early education, food security, affordable housing, and economic assistance will be main parts of focus for the upcoming year.
She also says that child abuse, domestic abuse problems and community mental health/well-being will be major parts in which organizations will shift their focus.
“The mental toll on people, just again, because of the pandemic and all of the uncertainties, we know mental wellness was the number one issue and it’s even greater now; and so yeah, focusing on those needs will be really important for us in the new year with these funds that we raised,” Toennis said.
The deadline to send in donations by mail was also extended until the last day of January. Any extra donations will go back into new grants, which will help the community and non-profit organizations that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those interested in learning more or making an individual donation to UWBH may do so by mailing a check to United Way of the Black Hills, 621 6th St., Ste. 100, Rapid City, S.D. 57701. The envelope must be postmarked for January 31.