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Vineyard donation drive exceeds last year’s total
by Jason Collins
Nov 19, 2012 | 1041 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Beeville Vineyard received a whopping $24,484 during the Coastal Bend Day of Giving donation drive Tuesday.

Of course, this amount doesn’t include the matching $11,633 that was part of the drive.

So, all in all, the Vineyard will actually get $36,118 to help out area residents.

This far surpassed last year’s total.

Donors last year offered $16,162.98, and coupled with the matching funds brought the total to $27,962.98.

This year’s amount is more than was donated to the more well-known charities of the American Red Cross and The Ronald McDonald House.

Lupe Sanchez, executive director at the Vineyard, said that she was excited to hear that the amount was more than last year.

“The money that comes from this donation drive can be used for anything,” she said.

“When we get the check, we will be able to start helping,” she said.

Unlike with other grants, it isn’t tied to certain things such as paying utility bills or medical expenses. This can go for any number of needs that the people coming through her door might have.

This influx of funds comes at a time when it is truly needed.

Larry McRorey, pastor at First United Methodist Church and Vineyard board president, said, “This is a huge shot in the arm. It takes well over $100,000 a year to do what we do.”

All of the money raised for the Vineyard will go to helping the needy and not paying salaries.

While many are seeing the recent Eagle Ford drilling as a boom to their finances, it has become a hardship for others.

For example, the price of rent has tripled in some areas and those with limited incomes are no longer able to afford their monthly bills.

“We are seeing more people displaced from their homes and apartments,” McRorey said.

Even during this past year, the Vineyard has had more people come through its doors needing help paying for medicine, food and rent.

The reason for this is twofold.

“I think there has been a much higher awareness of the Vineyard,” McRorey said. The other reason is that the price of things, such as gasoline and housing, has increased.

“More people are coming in needing food and rental assistance,” McRorey said. “These are real-life crises. They are having to make a choice between eating and medicine.”

McRorey highlighted the mother and daughter featured in a prior story who were one of those being hit the hardest by the rising costs.

“It is people like that who don’t want a handout. They want a hand up,” he said.

This year’s Day of Giving campaign exceeded the total dollars raised in each of the three previous years of the event. The foundations providing the matching gift funds selected the participating charities because they provide basic services to low income and the poor. By midnight on Tuesday, the 2012 total was $182,614 over that raised in 2011.

Approximately 82 percent of the 3,906 online gifts were for $100 or less. The $872,614 will go directly to programming at the 30 nonprofits.

“Many of the agencies were very successful in raising a large amount of money in individual donations,” said Karen Selim, president and CEO of the Coastal Bend Community Foundation. “This year’s total adds to the $1.7 million raised in the prior three ‘Days’ to provide over $2.5 million in the four years to the area’s most vulnerable populations. On behalf of the 15 matching gift foundations, thank you, Coastal Bend, for your continued generosity.”

Linda McKamie, executive director of Catholic Charities, expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am particularly pleased because the success of this special Day of Giving is a sign of the unity we enjoy in this great community.”

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
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