(FOX 9) - Generosity was in full swing on this year's Give to the Max Day in Minnesota.
Donors raised $34.3 million, which is more than Give to the Max Day raised in each of the first five years from 2009-2013, organizers with GiveMN said.
"The generosity we saw on display yesterday is crucial for organizations across the state to remain resilient and continue their critical work," Jake Blumberg, executive director, GiveMN said in a release. "Giving is a way for us all to put our values into action. Give to the Max serves as a kickoff to the giving season, and we are grateful Minnesotans continue to generously support the thousands of causes strengthening communities throughout our state."
GiveMN says over 6,400 organization and school collected funds during Give to the Max Day, including Minneapolis-based Alight.
"I think it’s really special to be able to give people those opportunities to give in ways that they want to and to give to causes that are important to them," said Alissa Jordan with Alight.
Alight helps people across the globe with everything from access to water to finding pencils for school. Jordan says Alight has participated in Give the Max Day for several years. This year, the nonprofit has a goal of raising $60,000 with a generous Minnesota family willing to match all of it. And in addition to monetary donations, volunteers spent the morning collecting clothing for refugees from Afghanistan.
Minnesotans dropped off donations for a clothing drive for Afghan refugees in Minneapolis Thursday. (FOX 9)
Faith Chapman arrived to the loading dock with a trunk full of donations.
"I think anything we can do to make life easier for our Afghan residents we should do it. It’s cold and they need help," Chapman said.
This is the first year the Invisible Wounds Project is taking part in Give to the Max Day. IWP helps veterans, first responders, medics, dispatchers, and their families facing a mental health crisis.
Founder Russ Hanes said if they reach their $5,000 goal, he plans to organize a retreat similar to one earlier this year for those involved in the Buffalo Allina Health clinic shooting and response.
"The trauma they experience and see is very different then the trauma an average person might experience one time," says Hanes. "It’s that ongoing exposure that really is the key piece that difference as a veteran and first responder."
On the GiveMN website, there are more than 4,800 nonprofits aiming to collect critical funds along with incentives and matching opportunities throughout the day the executive director of GiveMN says this will help stretch every dollar as far as possible.
"The pandemic has really accelerated the necessity for non-profits and schools to be able to raise money online, and so with Give to the Max Day being really the first digital-only campaign, we were in a position to really leverage, I think, the moment, " said GiveMN executive director, Jake Blumberg.
A moment countless Minnesotans can be proud of.
"It’s a very special and unique to Minnesota day we are very happy to be a part of," says Jordan. "I just think it is a day that really captures that generous spirit of Minnesotans.. and that philanthropic perspective here in Minnesota."
To donate, visit givemn.org or donate to a nonprofit or organization directly.