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Give Where You Live starts off strong in Kearney, donations will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. tonight
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Give Where You Live starts off strong in Kearney, donations will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. tonight

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Bryan Kuntz and Jasmine Thompson

KACF board member Bryan Kuntz, left, looks at figures early this morning with Jasmine Thompson, KACF marketing coordinator, at the KACF offices. Donors began coming in when the office opened at 8 a.m

KEARNEY — The ninth annual Give Where You Live is off and running.

By 7:30 a.m. this morning, $138,341 had been donated to the Kearney Area Community Foundation’s 24-hour giving campaign. The effort runs through 11:59 p.m. tonight.

By 8 a.m., that total had surpassed $142,000.

“It started well. Early giving was strong this year,” said Judi Sickler president and CEO of the foundation. Within a minute of the event’s start at midnight, $112,829 had been tallied in online gifts that had been accepted since Nov. 4, but not counted until today.

Gifts can be made online at givewhereyoulive.net or delivered in person to the foundation at 412 W. 48th St. Donors who prefer to remain in their cars can call the foundation at 308-237-3114 to have a volunteer pick up the gift from their cars.

The effort will benefit 185 nonprofits in Buffalo and Kearney counties.

As of 7:30 a.m., the Loper Wrestling Legacy Fund had collected the most donations, followed, in order, by the Kearney Family YMCA capital campaign, Make-a-Wish Foundation, K-9 Freeks Dog Rescue and the Family Advocacy Network.

Several nonprofits will hold events to encourage giving today.

Since KACF launched GWYL in 2013, it has raised more than $6.5 million. The event brought in $453,216 in 2013. That amount has climbed since. By last year, total donations reached $1.3 million.

Participating nonprofits have risen steadily from 99 that first year to 120 in 2014 and 146 in 2015. There were 161 participating nonprofits in 2018, 165 in 2019 and 177 in 2020. This year, eight more are on board.

“We are committed to our mission of promoting the spirit of charitable giving and effectively responding to the community’s needs,” Sickler said. “We are proud that the annual Give Where You Live campaign accomplishes that.” To keep the buzz going for 24 hours, $130,000 in challenge match funds and prizes will be awarded. More information can be found at www.givewhereyoulive.net.

maryjane.skala@kearneyhub.com

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