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Midlands Gives reaches $1.5 million in donations

The Columbia Museum of Art was among area nonprofits distributing information about their respective charities at Boyd Plaza Tuesday.
The Columbia Museum of Art was among area nonprofits distributing information about their respective charities at Boyd Plaza Tuesday. BRANTIN@THESTATE.COM

Midlands area charities are celebrating a banner year of fundraising in the second Midlands Give campaign.

The unofficial total for the 24-hour online fundraiser that begin at midnight Tuesday had reached $1,514,157 by midnight Wednesday, more than doubling the $704,932 raised during last year’s inaugural effort. This year’s campaign topped last year’s mark with 10 hours remaining.

Organizers are expected to certify the numbers by midday Wednesday.

“I’m Speechless, ” said JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation, which spearheaded the event. “The outpouring of support is not only rocking the Midlands but placing Midlands Gives in the top-10 giving day events nationwide.”

More than 250 area nonprofit organizations throughout 11 Midlands counties took part in the campaign that encourages people to make online gifts that support vital causes in their communities.

Tuesday’s results came on the heels of a spirited social media campaign that saw more than 11,300 donations as many participating groups made individual online pleas to the community for donations.

“It’s a competition, but it's a healthy competition,” said Sharon Earle, a Central Carolina board member and owner of Primerica financial services company. “There also was a great deal of conversation about how the organizations can help each other, in terms of services.”

Dori Tempio of Able South Carolina, which provides a variety of independent living services for individuals with disabilities, lauded the effort for its “inclusive” nature.

“We've gotten to network with some other organizations and see how they work in the community and serve individuals as well,” Tempio said.

Midlands Gives grew out of the national Give Local America initiative that encourages people to make gifts that support vital causes in their local communities. IT-oLogy in downtown Columbia was the headquarters for this year’s event.

Several of this year’s participating groups gathered at Boyd Plaza on Main Street in Columbia at midday Tuesday to generate support for their various causes, provide information and take donations.

“The energy we felt throughout the crowd has been reflected all day across social media channels, and particularly on the leaderboard,” Turnquist said.

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