Miami-Dade County

Will we beat the $7.1 million raised last year? Give Miami Day is here so it's up to you

Booker T. Washington High School marching band and the Gablettes dance squad from Coral Gables High School cheer for Give Miami Day at the Arsht.
Booker T. Washington High School marching band and the Gablettes dance squad from Coral Gables High School cheer for Give Miami Day at the Arsht. Photo by Chris Carter, ra-haus

If your vote in the 2016 election didn’t make the change you wanted to see, there’s another way to make a difference: Greater Miami’s largest philanthropy event, Give Miami Day, starts at midnight Nov. 17.

The Miami Foundation will match a percentage of every donation raised during the 24-hour cycle known as Give Miami Day and distribute funds to more than 650 local nonprofits, whose causes range from animals, arts, education, environment to healthcare, housing and science and technology.

People can make their donations through the Foundation’s website, www.givemiamiday.org. (Minimum donation is $25.)

Last year, more than 17,000 donors gave a record $7.1 million to more than 600 local nonprofits. That’s up from Give Miami Day’s first year of operation five years ago, when the Foundation raised $1.2 million for local charities.

“We’re proud of the track record we’ve developed. We’re proud of this community for being so incredibly generous during Give Miami Day over these past five years, and we’re looking forward to setting a new record,” said Javier Alberto Soto, the foundation’s CEO.

The Community Arts Program has expanded its after-school music programs with the funds it has received. In 2014, the nonprofit raised $19,000; by 2015, it had climbed to $28,000.

“We’re investing in the future, and Give Miami Day certainly embraces that,” said executive and artistic director Mark Hart. “It helps us to not only extend our program, but also extend what children are able to do in the future and it gives them a better base from which to do that.”

This year, the organization hopes to augment its jazz and string programs.

Others, too, have seen the results of the 24-hour donation period. Miami Jewish Health raised $700 in its first year with Give Miami Day and by last year, its third year, it raised almost $100,000 — much of that through a social media push.

“My team and I are passionate about Give Miami Day, our city, and the work we do at Miami Jewish Health," said Churé Gladwell, vice president and chief development officer of Miami Jewish Health.

Miami Herald Charities’ Wish Book program, which helps children, the sick, the homeless and the elderly throughout South Florida, has also benefitted greatly through Give Miami Day.

Last year, Wish Book received approximately $15,000 in donations through Give Miami Day, said Roberta DiPietro, Wish Book coordinator.

A look at how the Miami Herald Wish Book program helped South Florida families in need last year. We're gearing up for the 2017 Wish Book season, and asking our readers to make a difference in a neighbor's life. Go to http://hrld.us/wishbook for m

This year, the soccer team Miami FC has offered to match all contributions (up to $15,000) between $25 to $100 made during the two “Match Minutes” at 7:10 a.m. and 3:05 p.m. Thursday.

There will also be a block party at 5 p.m. Thursday during the Miami Book Fair; the party will be at “The Porch,” 300 NE Second Ave at Miami Dade College.

“Give Miami Day has really sparked tremendous excitement around charitable giving. It’s a day to celebrate everything that brings us together as a community,” Soto said. “And frankly I don’t think we get enough opportunities to do that.”

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