By Morgan Bryce
Opelika residents demonstrated their generosity during the inaugural “Opelika Giving Day,” which raised more than $30,000 from 200-plus individuals, according to event organizers from The Community Foundation of East Alabama.
Donations were accepted before May 1, but the bulk of the donations were given during the 24-hour challenge that day. Chief Event Organizer Wendy Bonner said she believes a solid foundation has been laid for next year’s event.
“It’s a great first step to building a giving culture that will continue to grow and support the community. I hope that Opelika Giving Day encourages local nonprofits to engage more fully in digital campaigns year round,” Bonner said. “For many, online fundraising tactics, like crowdfunding and giving days, are a new concept but in today’s environment it’s an important component to a comprehensive fundraising strategy.”
Ten total Opelika-based organizations were selected to be recipients in Giving Day, with one of those being the Creekline Project, headed by the husband-and-wife duo of Rocky and Shealy Langley. This project would increase the city’s connectivity and encourage a more active lifestyle through the construction of more than 13 miles of shared-use, ADA-accessible paths.
“Opelika Giving Day was a huge opportunity for us, and it highlighted just how generous and forward thinking our city is. Shealy and I were so humbled to see the support come throughout the day … it was affirmation to us that our citizens really want to make this dream a reality,” Rocky said. “Each dollar raised during Opelika Giving Day represents citizen support for the Creekline, and we expect that $15,670 worth of support will increase buy-in from potential funders.”
Following is a list of the total amounts donated to each organization:
- Creekline Project – $15,670
- Arts Association of East Alabama – $4,640
- Way 2 Serve – $1,930
- Haddie’s Home – $1,650
- O Grows Community Garden – $1,605
- Circles of Opelika – $1,555
- Southside Center for the Performing Arts $1,100
- Harvest Evangelism – $985
- Exodus Ranch – $825
- East Alabama Youth for Christ – $400
Looking to next year, Bonner said she hopes the event will continue to shine a light on the good going on in the community.
For more information, like and follow the “Opelika Giving Day” Facebook page or visit www.cfeastalabama.org.