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Donation sites available for Erie Gives Day

July 27, 2023

Erie Gives Day is coming up fast, with online donations being accepted starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8 until 8 p.m. that evening.

This year, Corry Higher Education Council, 221 N. Center St., is opening its doors as a donation site from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, making their secure computers available for community members to come in and complete their transaction.

The idea came from Raynee Wilkinson, program director at the Hi-Ed, who wanted to provide this opportunity for those who don’t otherwise have internet access.

"We also want to make it a fun day for the community.” Wilkinson said, noting there will be refreshments and stickers handed out to donors that say “I Made a Difference.”

What’s more, other participating nonprofits in Corry have been invited to be present throughout the day and share with donors about what they do.

“This is such an important day for all of our nonprofits, and we wanted to make this easier for people to participate,” said Matt Platz, executive director. “We feel that a rising tide lifts all boats, so each nonprofit is invited to participate.”

Those who wish to avoid credit card fees and write a check instead can drop it off along with a completed check donation form at the Hi-Ed during business hours. The hard deadline is noon on Aug. 7, but Wilkinson said it would be better for donors to have them in the day before. Then, a representative will hand deliver them to the Erie Community Foundation office on Aug. 7, which saves donors from having to mail them in.

Checks can also be left at Village Thrift Shop, 51 N. Center St., during a First Fridays Wine Walk event on Friday, Aug. 4, between 5 and 9 p.m.

All donations are tax deductible, and checks should be made out to the Erie Community Foundation. A check donation form, which can be found online at www.eriegives.org, must accompany all check donations. Donations should be a minimum of $25.

Shelby Scouten of the Corry Community Foundation said up to $20,000 in “Bonus Bucks” are being offered for nonprofits based in the Corry Area School District. She explained this is a prorated match for the first $5,000 raised for each charity, which last year averaged out at about 37 cents on the dollar — turning a gift of $25 into $34.

The Erie Community Foundation and its corporate sponsors also provide Bonus Bucks from a pool of $470,000, so a portion of that accompanies each donation as well.

Scouten said nonprofits are still registering, but some that have already signed up include Corry Area Arts Council, Corry Area Food Pantry, Corry Area Historical Society, Corry Rail and Industrial Legacy Society (RAILS), Corry Salvation Army, Foundation for Sustainable Forests, Impact Corry, LifeCare Ministries, Pine Grove Cemetery, Northwest Pennsylvania Trail Association, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and Village Friends.

A complete list of participating nonprofits is available online at eriegives.org.

Wilkinson commented that donations given to the Hi-Ed are useful in providing as much free programming as possible, awarding scholarships to students and updating and maintaining the facility.

“We need funds to operate and provide our programs,” she said. “All of the things that we do, we rely on contributions, donations and grants."

“They are unrestricted funds,” Platz added. “So they can be used for any important initiative each organization chooses.”

Scouten pointed out each nonprofit holds unique value for the community, and each one is in need of community support.

“Imagine a Corry without the Thursdays in the Park summer concert series,” she said. “Or without a resource for single teen moms to turn to in times of crisis. Our nonprofits bring so much to our community, from social services through Love INC and the food pantry to the perpetual care at our local cemeteries. Erie Gives is a prime opportunity to donate to our local charitable organizations. There is power in this annual event.”