Updated: November 19, 2020 10:34 PM
Created: November 19, 2020 04:53 PM
We have entered the season of both thanks and giving.
On Thursday, Minnesotans showed their generosity through Give to the Max Day by raising millions of dollars to support non-profits and organizations statewide.
One local organization participating in Give to the Max Day is the Duluth Public Library.
“We really believe that supporting the library is an investment in the community,” Patra Sevastiades, the Executive Director of the Duluth Library Foundation said.
According to Sevastiades, the library hoped to raise $15,000 by midnight on Thursday to purchase more books, expand their digital outreach efforts and re-shape their programs to be safe amid the pandemic. One of these programs is the curbside pick-up program, which has been especially popular.
“Every day, approximately 200 people pull up or walk up and on average, each of them picks up five items, so every day, 1,000 items are going out of the library into the community,” Sevastiades said.
Through generous donations from the community, Sevastiades said this program and others at the library will continue to thrive and provide for the public.
“Over a millennium, people have collected books in libraries with the idea of having all of the knowledge in one place and more recently, public libraries have been a place where everyone has access to all of the information that is available out there and that allows people to grow and learn and to expand their own minds and their own lives,” Sevastiades said.
Another local organization participating in Give to the Max Day is Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank.
“Through every dollar that’s provided, we’re able to distribute about three meals,” Shaye Moris, the Executive Director at Northern Lakes Food Bank said.
According to Moris, the food bank hoped to raise $25,000 Thursday to support their backpack program, their nutritional assistance program for seniors, their mobile service pantry and their operations at large.
“Typically, during this time, we’re raising probably 40 to 50% of our total revenue from public support, so we’re a little nervous, but hopeful that our neighbors come out and be generous like they always are during the holiday season,” Moris said.
As a result of struggles brought on by the pandemic, Morris said Second Harvest has seen an influx in people needing assistance. She predicts this could increase as the holidays approach and businesses shut back down for four weeks per Governor Tim Walz’s latest set of restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Despite this, Morris said they want to be there for people who need them and these donations will help.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us year to date and please know we are feeding a lot of people just because of our neighbors generously supporting Second Harvest,” Moris said.
Click if you would like to donate to one of the thousands of nonprofits and schools are participating.