Election Day has passed. People across the nation lined up Tuesday to participate in one of the most important collective actions we take as citizens — voting.
The lead-up to that day, the monthslong emphasis on everything that divides us, compounded by the stress and isolation caused by the pandemic, have been exhausting for many. And while we may not yet know all the changes coming to our elected offices, it is time for a change of season. It is time to unite.
On Friday, Nov. 20, Lancaster will kick off the holiday season with our own unofficial holiday, the Extraordinary Give. Throughout that day, visit ExtraGive.org and make your contribution to any of the more than 500 participating organizations that serve Lancaster County. Our community’s generosity is year-round, but on this single day our community pulls together to support something special to all of us: this county.
As Americans and as Lancaster County residents, we know there is much more that unites us than divides us.
In Lancaster County, we are uniquely gifted with a deep and broad community benefit sector that adds to the richness and joy of this diverse, innovative and bucolic county.
The extraordinary generosity of our community provides the resources needed to support causes throughout Lancaster County. Donations support organizations that provide food, shelter and health care needs; that add to the learning experiences and nurturing of our children; organizations that have made Lancaster nationally recognized as a welcoming community to immigrants and refugees; and organizations that support arts, history and culture, animal causes, libraries, the environment, churches, emergency services, coalitions and more.
The Lancaster County Community Foundation launched the Extraordinary Give in 2012. Since then, county residents have collectively contributed more than $53 million to over 500 community benefit organizations through ExtraGive.org. (The foundation, whose website is at lancfound.org, has never taken a single penny from the event.)
During the Extraordinary Give, the magic of Lancaster County’s giving and supportive nature is on display for the entire world to see. In fact, thanks to you, the Extraordinary Give ranks as the highest per capita giving day in the nation. Every year inspires more individuals to get involved and, thanks to Rodgers & Associates, High Foundation, LNP Media Group and The Steinman Foundation and our other corporate sponsors, every dollar donated on Nov. 20 will be stretched to go the extra mile for causes you care about.
This year, the Extraordinary Give will take on an entirely new level of importance. The pandemic has forced our community benefit sector to forgo many important in-person fundraisers and cancel activities that typically provide essential financial support. So, Lancaster County, we need you to be all in.
Fortunately, the Extraordinary Give has always been a virtual event. You can support your favorite organizations from the comfort and safety of your own home and encourage your networks to do the same.
What are you passionate about? What would you like to see change in our community? Visit ExtraGive.org now and discover the many organizations working to make our community stronger. Make a plan in advance. The minimum donation is just $10. But don’t stop there. Share the fact that you are giving and why with your family, friends, co-workers, and social networks. Use #IGiveExtra and see your face and your voice on the special production of Extra Give CAST on Nov. 20.
Your gift and your advocacy will inspire others to join in the effort. Together, we create a unified effort that celebrates and supports our community. That is the magic in Extraordinary Give.