Giving to the max during the holidays and beyond

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:27 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s Minnesota’s annual holiday of generosity: Give to the Max Day is a statewide event that raises millions of dollars for thousands of nonprofits.

Since 2009, Give to the Max has raised more than $290 million dollars for more than 10,000 nonprofit organizations.

The Rochester Salvation Army and Channel One Regional Food Bank are among the organizations receiving additional help during the holiday season.

“Give to the Max Day is really a celebration of philanthropy of the nonprofit sector,” Rochester Salvation Army Director of Community Engagement Rebecca Snapp said. “It is really an opportunity to encourage people to think about giving to people in need as we really enter a season of giving.”

Channel One Regional Food Bank’s Executive Director Virginia Witherspoon Merritt said the event could not have come at a better time for her organization. According to its numbers, Channel One broke its own record for the most households served in one month, on two separate occasions in 2023.

“In our food shelf here at Channel One, we broke our all-time record we set this summer, with 8,000 household visits in October,” Merritt explained. “Our previous record this summer was 7,200, pre pandemic we were looking at 3,500.”

Last year, Channel One received more than $21,000 from donors as a result of the holiday, an increase Merritt added is to be expected this time of year.

For the Rochester Salvation Army, it’s a similar story.

“I tell people all the time that the money we raise this time of year it raises between a third and half of all the dollars we’re going to need for an entire year for providing for thousands of people who come to us looking for help,” Snapp said.

“Every person can make a difference whether you have time, or you have money or you can even give us a shout out online and encourage your peers to support Channel One,” Merritt said. “This community has been so good to us, every time we’ve needed the community, they have stood up for us and I just know they are going to stand up for us again.”

In 2009, during its first year, Give to the Max Day raised more than $14 million for more than 3,000 organizations. Last year, in 2022, about 6,000 groups received nearly triple that amount.