Across the Universe: More than 600 nonprofit gifts donated – and counting! | SierraSun.com

Across the Universe: More than 600 nonprofit gifts donated – and counting!

Our Word on the Street feature this week asks a relatively boring question: "Is it better to give or receive during the holiday season?"

I say "boring" only in the sense that, at least in my opinion, the obvious answer is "to give." If there's one thing that's universal in how we're raised as kids, it's that it is better to give than to receive.

Our answers this week reflect that notion. It's a great feeling to walk up to random people and receive such warm and wonderful responses regarding the generosity of giving.

This week, the holiday season gets into full swing across the world, as well as right here in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe, which means it's the best time of the year to remind people of the importance of giving — especially for our friends, neighbors and four-legged friends who have fallen on hard times or who aren't as fortunate as others.

Locally, you still have plenty of time to make a massive difference by participating in the 2015 Give Back Tahoe Guide for Giving, a campaign jointly presented by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and the Sierra Sun, and sponsored by the Truckee Hometown SEARS Store, Auerbach Engineering Corp., Truckee Tahoe Airport, Tahoe-Truckee Lumber Co. and Mountain Home Center.

The Guide for Giving, in its second year, is meant to be an easy way for folks to learn about the local nonprofits that inspire them — and, of course, to give back, because it is our collective impact to a variety of nonprofits that will help them get their 2016 year started with the dollars they need to run their individual missions.

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The 2015 giving season started Dec. 1, and it ends on Thursday, Dec. 31. As of this writing Tuesday afternoon, this incredible North Tahoe-Truckee community had already donated 613 monetary gifts, totaling more than $81,000 — all spread among the 72 local nonprofits that participated this year!

To put those figures in perspective, at the end of the inaugural campaign in 2014, a total of 277 monetary gifts had been donated to 60 nonprofits. That means the community this year has already rallied to more than double that gift total — and we still have nine days left to donate.

It's also important to note that, among every nonprofit's individual matches, there is a cumulative $225,000 in extra match dollars available; further, the great crew at TTCF has rounded up donors who have collectively given $40,000 in Challenge Grants to unlock even more resources.

As our amazing colleagues at TTCF put it to me simply on Tuesday: "If we all worked together and collectively raised $811,000, we could grant all the nonprofit wishes."

Needless to say, the sky truly is the limit for what we are capable of accomplishing. And the great thing about the Guide for Giving is you can choose to donate to specific nonprofits that you feel are the most important to you. That way, you know the money is going to the cause you support.

So remember, the deadline to give is before the ball drops on 2015 — when you're ready, visit givebacktahoe.org and join our collective impact.

Kevin MacMillan is managing editor of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. He may be reached for comment at kmacmillan@sierrasun.com.