Area nonprofits benefit from community donations during Give Local St. Joseph County


After a 24-hour fundraising campaign, the numbers are in.

Give Local St. Joseph County raised $8,006,043 for 67 local non-profit organizations. The St. Joseph County Public Library received the most donations, 385, and raised $56,746. The Women’s Care Center raised $400,891 from 115 donations.

Most of the organizations all had the same reaction, excitement and joy over the community coming together to support them.

Lexi Kobb is the director of Hannah Lindal’s Children Museum. She says they wouldn’t be able to continue doing what they do without help from the community.

“I would have to say that working with Give Local like this is a really special opportunity for our nonprofit and for the nonprofit community as a whole. This is really an opportunity to kind of celebrate together as a nonprofit community what we all do and bring attention to the fact that we can't do what we do every day without the community's involvement,” said Kobb.

Hannah Lindal’s Children Museum, works to encourage families in the area to explore, learn, and enjoy the history of the Mishawaka area. It also received a dollar-for-dollar matching donation through the Community Foundation. Tuesday, with the matching donation, it raised more than $7,000.

It will be using those donations to update exhibits and create new educational opportunities for the kids in Michiana.

"Most of the artifacts in our collection are donated. So we have been in existence for 71 years in the community. And over that time many people have found various things in their collections that they wanted to share with the community as a whole. And they brought them here to Hannah Lindal’s children's museum. We have very special objects in our collection. We have a civil war flag that was flown in battle by Mishawaka troops. We have mastodon bones that were found in a St. Joseph County farm field, we just have very special objects we can share,” said Kobb.

Another organization that got donations through Give Local St. Joseph County was the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.

The symphony only gets 20-percent of funding through ticket sales. The rest comes from an endowment and philanthropic support from donors. On Tuesday, it received $45,975 from 66 donors.

Agnieszka Rakhmathullaev, the Executive Director of the South Bend Symphony, says the money donated will help them continue to educate the community.

“They perform in schools and in retirement centers, in libraries, and all of those performances are featured in venues so it’s serving our community. In addition to that, this year alone, we brought 5,600 kids, third graders to our young people's discovery concert, in November,” said Rakhmathullaev. “So we're providing them with the opportunity to come to a live orchestral concert for the first time in their lives is just something that these donations help us tremendously do,”

She went onto talk about how grateful she was for the community came together, in a political climate where there’s a worry over funding for the arts.

“I do believe that people come together in the recent climate and also I just want to express my incredible surprise and also in a good way the fact that we did, that our community did raise $8 million in one single day in support of our community organizations,” she said. “It's something we have to be very proud of cause it's a huge accomplishment I think for a city of our size.”

For Oaklawn Mental Health and Addiction Services, it wants to use the money donated to them to help people in the community get the best and most efficient care they need.

Matthew Lentsch is the executive director for the Oaklawn Foundation.

"We are focused on making sure we provide the best, most efficacious care, not just those who walk through our doors, but those we see in the community," said Lentsch. "You know, Oaklawn and nowhere is perfect but we do have wonderful people who care, and not just care, they have a lot of expertise.”

One of the main things Oaklawn plans on doing with its donations is fund programs like Camp Mariposa.

It’s a national addiction, prevention, and mentoring program for children impacted by substance abuse in their families.

No matter what organization was donated to, all of the groups are excited to use the money to give back.

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