Christy Fiala can talk about just how grateful the Fremont Area United Way is for donors.
Fiala is executive director of an agency that helps residents in a variety of ways. The nonprofit agency was among those that participated in the Fremont Area Big Give in May.
This year, the annual event — hosted by the Fremont Area Community Foundation — raised $325,046 for 66 area nonprofits.
The Big Give proved even more critical this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic when many organizations had to cancel important fundraising events.
Traditionally, FACF board members have hand-delivered Big Give checks to participating nonprofits, said Melissa Diers, executive director.
But due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the foundation mailed out the checks for 2020 and encouraged nonprofits to take photos and share them once they received the checks. FACF has photos of happy check-holders from various agencies. In one photo, two mallard ducks being rehabbed by the Wildlife Rescue Team are shown near a Big Give logo.
Fiala and Tad Dinkins, FAUW board chair, hold a large paper replica of a check indicating the $23,529 the agency received via the Big Give.
“Fremont Area United Way is extremely happy to receive the support of donors through the Big Give event — especially during this time when there’s so much need,” Fiala said. “It was incredibly impactful for the families and for the programs its supports here.”
Fiala pointed out the community’s generosity even amid unusual circumstances.
“That happened in early May and we were all learning of COVID and how the world would be and it’s so impressive that so many in the community contributed during a time of such uncertainty,” she said.
Suzanne Smith, executive director, and Linda Schlapfer, outreach communications advocate for The Bridge, thanked FACF for the check and the event, saying the Big Give’s organization and outreach was remarkable.
The Bridge provides services for individuals and families who experience domestic violence and sexual assault in Dodge, Washington, Saunders, Burt and Cuming counties.
In a Fremont Tribune article in May, Smith said the agency already had depleted some of its financial assistance budget, which includes sheltering and other direct services, and said the Big Give funds would play an important role in replenishing funding for client services.