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Over the Top!

The conversation took place a year ago last April. With the completion of the 2014 Giving Challenge, a Resurrection House volunteer remarked how disappointed he was in the donation response from other volunteers and donors.

The volunteer stated that he and his wife might be interested in matching all gifts up to $25,000 made to Resurrection House in the 2015 Giving Challenge. The offer was remembered and I waited for this year’s event to roll around. Fortunately, he was still interested in doing the match and it started a chain of events that saw a record amount being raised for Resurrection House.

Each of the 400+ non-profits who participated in the Giving Challenge was asked to select one individual as the official contact. Volunteer Joe Lucero was named our representative to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Joe attended the initial meetings where the rules and procedures were outlined. Being new to participating in the Challenge, Joe brought a level of enthusiasm and work ethic to the post.

We mailed out over 3,500 letters to our current and past donors to make them aware of the matching opportunities. As our volunteers worked their four hour shifts, we also made them aware of the generosity from one of their own.

As noon on Tuesday, September 1, rolled around we were anxiously waiting to see the results. By the end of the Challenge 24 hours later, we were indeed very thankful and humbled by the overwhelming response.

The Resurrection House totals look like this: 154 gifts total—$25,950, new gifts to the Giving Challenge matched by the Patterson Foundation up to $250.00, - totaling $18,650 plus the $25,000 Resurrection House volunteer for a GRAND TOTAL of $69,600.

An overview showed over 36,000 donors gave $3.8 million benefitting 449 charities. The match by the Patterson Foundation to new gifts made to the Challenge brought the overall total to more than $6.7 million.

Vice President for Philanthropic Education and Marketing for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Susie Bowie gave the following overview, “We applaud the efforts of Resurrection House and all of the nearly $26,000 in online contributions during the 2015 Giving Challenge. Together with The Patterson Foundation’s matching support of $18,650 for new donors, this funding will no doubt provide valuable support for some of our area’s most vulnerable citizens.”

As a first-timer with this event, Joe Lucero was quoted as saying, “It was challenging gathering all the information and putting it to effective use.” “Susie Bowie was excellent and very prompt to answer any of my questions and the Resurrection House staff helped make the success possible,” Joe Remarked.

Editor’s Note: From a sideline seat, the Giving Challenge provided some interesting stories. There was a couple traveling through Alaska that wanted to donate and we found a way. A weekly golfing group calling themselves the Rosedale Misfits made a contribution—the weekly losers donate to a charity pot rather than to the winners—and this time Resurrection House won the pot. Last, but not least, the Templeton Foundation was credited with putting us “Over the Top”.