An ‘Extraordinary’ record breaker

By on November 26, 2019

Five hundred and twenty-two Lancaster County non-profit organizations set a new record for online donations in Friday’s 24-hour Extraordinary Give. The Lancaster County Community

Foundation sponsored event topped 10.5 million dollars in its eighth year, for a total of more than 50 million dollars.

Non-profits in the Ephrata and Cocalico school districts used both location events and social media platforms in an effort to boost donations.

“At this point in time, you need to be literally living under a boulder in Lancaster County to not know that it is Extra-Give day,” said Northern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce Executive

Director, Liz Ackerman. “It is everywhere. It’s fantastic for the non-profits, who have always had trouble getting their message out.”
One area organization that has no trouble getting the word out is Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. The Reinholds non-profit collected 699 donations totaling $133,048, an increase of

$2,000 over last year.

Maria, a 6-year-old English cream retriever, is one of the many beneficiaries of the generosity of those who donated to Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue on Extraordinary Give day, Nov. 22. Photo by Missi Mortimer.

“We do see some new donors every year,” explained Delaware Valley’s Executive Director, John Plummer. “We blast out to the people who receive our e-mails, starting back in September. “The money goes to the food and the medical care, plus the heat and electric. If we can’t keep the electric on, the dogs are in the dark.”
Some of the funds raised can be considered a life-saver.

“We’ll occasionally get a call from a breeder who has a puppy with a medical issue,” added Plummer. “Their option is to euthanize the dog, because they can’t sell it. These dollars enable us to say yes to these types of dogs.”

A Denver based organization got a boost from generous matching donations, helping to more than double last year’s total.

“This was the first year that we garnered a matching fund,” said Real Life Community Services Executive Director Rod Redcay. “The two donors offered a matching $30,000 specifically to our organization.”

Jason R. Smith provided the entertainment at the Pressed Plate.

Another boost for Real Life and all of the other non-profits is the Extra-Give stretch pool of $500,000.

“The stretch pool is divided, based on each non-profit’s percentage of the total raised,” continued Redcay. “If your organization raised 2% of the total, you get 2% of the $500,000.”

With the stretch pool and the $30,000 private match, Real Life totaled 141 donations and $66,280, a significant jump from $22,526 last year.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to bring on a youth director to our organization,” said Redcay. “If we have the funds to do it.”

In addition to her Chamber position, Ackerman also serves as the volunteer president of the Cocalico Education Foundation.

“The students have Coin-Wars at the elementary schools,” described Ackerman. “It won’t be going into the website for the Extra-Give, but they raised over $2,000. And the staff in the district raised more money with a Dress-Down Day. The students and the teachers see the impact from what the Foundation can provide. They are looking for ways to participate.”

The Cocalico Education Foundation saw 67 donors give $10,040 during this year’s Extra-Give.
Good Samaritan Services topped the $50,000 mark for the second consecutive year, in part with the help of Scratch Bakes Bakery and Deli, who provided a free mini-cupcake to every donor at their location.

Ephrata Borough Council member Linda Martin and her husband, Greg, supported the Ephrata Public Library at the Pressed Plate on Nov. 22 during the Extraordinary Give.

“All day long, we’ve been updating the social media, keeping people up to date as to where we are,” explained Good Sam Resident Director Hannah Miller. “For us, it’s people that are facing homelessness. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Miller also shares the opinion that social media is becoming a bigger player in the Extraordinary Give.

“I do think that social media has upped the ante,” added Miller. “Everyone is on Facebook or Instagram. That’s really a good way to get the word to your friends or your family.”
Good Samaritan saw 240 donors contribute $50,052.

The Ephrata Recreation Center was another local non-profit that saw an increase in 2019, welcoming 79 donors and $10,938.

“We’re all hitting at the same businesses,” said Rec Center Executive Director Jim Summers. “That business community is getting smaller and smaller. The big players are getting smaller and smaller. We’re already unified in who we’re asking. This puts it all in one day.”

Ephrata Borough Council member Linda Martin and her husband, Greg, supported the Ephrata Public Library at the Pressed Plate on Nov. 22 during the Extraordinary Give.

“We have used the money in the past toward our Grater Scholarship Program, named after Tom Grater. When the fund that we have for those scholarships is depleted, we just keep giving out the scholarships, in the spirit of Tom Grater.”

The Ephrata Public Library also had a good day, notching 215 donations for $22,563.

“Today, we are participating fully in the online campaign that everyone else is, but what we’re doing different is the book sale,” explained Library Director of Development Will Caverly. “We have 20 dollars per bag for whatever books you want to pick out. This is a chance for people to give to the Extraordinary Give while walking away with a couple of books.”

The Library’s fundraising continued into the night, with a ticketed dinner at Pressed Plate in Ephrata.

“This library is based around its collections,” added Caverly. “We have to update our collections regularly. This money goes toward that.”

Other local organizations participating in Friday’s Extraordinary Give included Camp Conquest (136 donations; $27,046), Ephrata Performing Arts Center (258; $34,820), Orphan Resources (53; $22,015), TNT Youth Ministries (155; $27,720), Blessings of Hope (180; $40,385), Woodcrest Retreat (94; $21,185) and Fairmount Homes (126; $29,205).

Also Ephrata Area Education Foundation (75; $15,740), EARS (53; $11,265), Mennonite Central Committee (312; $69,400), Handi*Vangelism (215; $39,980), Ten Thousand Villages (123; $12,790), Bible Visuals International (78; $15,525) and Adamstown Library (97; $11,560).

Ephrata Review correspondent Kevin Frey welcomes your questions and comments at 


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