Foundation Blog

by Megan Dobbs, Marketing & Communications Director

These are challenging times. For nonprofits. For businesses. For families. For us all.

We're seven weeks away from Abilene Gives, the 24-hour day of online giving to support local nonprofit organizations. We don't know exactly what the next seven weeks will hold, but we do know nonprofits are already being greatly affected by measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A number of local nonprofits have had to cancel spring fundraising events, and we know they're preparing for even more potential funding challenges in the coming days as needs arise.

If ever there has been a time when our nonprofits have needed the community to rally around them with support, it's now. So, yes, Abilene Gives will go on.

Consider some of the invaluable ways our community depends on nonprofits:

  • Basic Needs — Our community relies heavily on nonprofits to serve people in need, particularly in a time of crisis. Nonprofits will need funding to continue to serve Abilene's most vulnerable populations and provide for their basic needs.
  • Health and Wellness — The majority of healthcare resources in our community are provided by nonprofits. Our major healthcare institutions are nonprofits, and we also have smaller nonprofits providing free and low-cost healthcare services to low-income patients.
  • Tourism— Most of Abilene's top tourist attractions are nonprofits. These organizations are already feeling the effects of people adhering to social distancing guidelines and avoiding public spaces.
  • Preservation of History — Nonprofits are among the agencies leading efforts to preserve historical landmarks and bring life to iconic buildings in our community.
  • Education — Our schools are supported by nonprofit education foundations, and other nonprofits offering services like mentorship for struggling students, programs that teach business principles and leadership, and creative outlets to enhance literacy.
  • Arts — The bulk of arts opportunities in Abilene are provided by nonprofit organizations. These opportunities include scholarships for low-income children to experience arts activities, art displays that celebrate our diverse cultural heritages, and art programs that offer a therapeutic outlet for people like refugees and veterans who have experienced trauma.
  • Animals — Nonprofits are the leaders of efforts to rescue neglected and abused animals and to connect them to loving homes.
  • Veterans — Abilene is served by multiple nonprofits providing supportive services for military veterans and their families.
  • Disabilities — We have nonprofits that provide critical resources, support, and advocacy for people living with disabilities.

This list provides a quick snapshot of just a handful of the ways nonprofits bring life to our community. Nonprofits serving each of these causes, and those not listed here, will in some capacity experience challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Abilene Gives is typically a time of celebration and fun. It may take on a slightly different tone this year. We'll likely have to do without the festive gatherings, block parties, and other nonprofit events promoting the giving day. With or without the usual festivities, Abilene will step up, just as it always does.

Perhaps a good comparison to end on, at least in my own assessment, is to think of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! story. Remember when the Grinch thought he had stolen Christmas, only to hear the Whos singing? Think of the Grinch as Coronavirus and the Whos as Abilenians — resilient, joyful, together.

Fahoo fores, everyone!

"And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low, then it started to grow.

But this sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded glad!

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was singing without any presents at all!

He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. "How could it be so?

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!"

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!"

- Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!