Local nonprofits benefit from Midlands Gives Day

COLUMBIA (WOLO): Tuesday, South Carolinians had the chance to find their inner philanthropists and give back to the more than 480 nonprofit organizations across the Midlands.

Donations continue to roll in, as a record-breaking number of nonprofits participate in Midlands Gives Day. This year the fundraising event is entirely online. 

Elizabeth Houck, Strategic Initiatives Associate, with the Central Carolina Community Foundations said, “there’s a great need for these nonprofits in order to keep the work that they’re doing and there are more nonprofits who are engaging and wanting to raise awareness about the important work that they’re doing.”

Of the hundreds of organizations joined in across the Midlands, ABC Columbia spoke with Lifehouse for Life, providing education, prevention, and awareness on human trafficking. Officials say the realities of human trafficking are becoming more seen, as the nonprofit received a record of more than 60 phone calls in 2020. 

“One thing that never stopped was human trafficking, and people’s vulnerability during this time because of not having finances, or resources to do things, the vulnerability of becoming exploited, people use that and took advantage of that so just because the pandemic has happened, didn’t stop human trafficking,” explained Heather Pagan, Survivor Care Coordinator with Lifehouse for Life.

Red Barn Retreat is another nonprofit here in the Midlands, providing a place of peace for veterans, active duty members, and first responders. Donations will go towards their Warrior Path program. 

“We really focus now on changing the narrative, which is getting away from this concept and idea that our veterans, active duty, and first responders are broken and struggling. “We really seek to train them on how to thrive in life and live a life worth living, and turn struggle into strength,” said Sutton Shaw, the Volunteer Executive Director at Big Red Barn Retreat. 

With thousands donated, and thousands more to go until the cutoff at 11:59:59 Tuesday, no amount given is too small. 

“Were extremely grateful to everyone that has given. It means so much. Whether it’s 10 or 1,000, to see the names come across…they believe in us and they believe in what we’re doing because they gave,” said Shaw. 

“We want to restore hope and healing to those who have been exploited. We want to be able to provide prevention and awareness all over the state of South Carolina so people will know what they can do to join the fight,” said Pagan. 




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