Raising money for Truckee Tahoe nonprofits: Call to Action a success

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE/NORTH LAKE TAHOE ” The Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation is calling Sunday’s Call to Action fundraiser a success ” and not just for the money raised.

While initial figures put the total raised at more than $85,000, donations are still trickling in and pledges are being added up. A final tally is expected in a week or so. But the massive phone bank effort in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe also served other purposes.

“It was successful on so many levels, it’s amazing how much money was raised,” said Phebe Bell, program officer for the foundation. “But it also showed as a community we can rally and make a difference ” that kind of positivity is really needed now.”

Just as surprising as the number of people called who gave, however, was the number of people called who needed help, said Theresa May Duggan, who helped coordinate the donation drive.

“People needed to know where to go for help who never needed to know before, so we could direct them to the Family Resource Centers, to Tahoe Women’s Services and Project MANA,” Duggan said. “Raising awareness was huge ” the idea that we are here.”

The 250 callers at 24 phone banks in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe found the effort to make more than 10,000 calls both uplifting and sobering, Bell said.

“Some callers were in tears, they were blown out of the water by the stories they herd,” Bell said.

Gail Stephens, a volunteer, recounted one particularly poignant story:

“On one phone call the person said they had just lost their job and was about to loose their house in foreclosure, then asked if giving $20 would be enough,” Stephens said.

One of the phone bank volunteers came in with a bag of checks from Tahoe City Public Utility District employees totaling $1,000, Duggan said.

“We got donations from pretty much the breadth of the community,” Duggan.

Bell said the more than $85,000 nearly doubles the amount of grant funding the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation can give out to basic needs nonprofits this year, and will be awarded in two grant cycles; in April and October.

And with the recent shift in policy at the foundation, nonprofits hurting in the economic downturn will be able to apply for funding to help keep their doors open, rather than only to fund new projects, Bell said.

The Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation is still excepting donations at

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