By Rachel Madison
Non-profit organizations across Liberty Hill are encouraged to attend an informational meeting on March 8 for Liberty Hill’s first ever Day of Giving, which will be held June 28.
The Day of Giving, which is sponsored by The Liberty Hill Independent and the City of Liberty Hill, will be held in conjunction with Liberty Hill’s annual Independence Day Spectacular event on July 3 and will be the first of its kind in Liberty Hill.
The purpose of the Day of Giving is to give the community an opportunity to come together to raise money for specific causes that will improve Liberty Hill.
All non-profit organizations that serve the Liberty Hill community are invited to attend the informational meeting at 6 p.m. on March 8 at the Liberty Hill Learning & Event Center, 14875 W. State Hwy. 29, to learn how their organization can get involved as a beneficiary.
During the informational meeting, non-profit organizations will learn more about what the Day of Giving is, how they can be a part of it, and how they can help to spread the word about it to the community.
“The information session is for anyone who is involved in a nonprofit organization in Liberty Hill,” said Katie Amsler, advertising director and event planner at the newspaper. “We’re going to explain to them what we’re looking for, how they can be chosen, how the process will work and how they can apply.”
Shelly Wilkison, owner/publisher of The Independent, said the idea behind the Day of Giving spurred from the newspaper’s success of hosting the Independence Day Spectacular the last two years and the growth that has come from that event.
“This is the third year for the Independence Day Spectacular,” she said. “What we’ve seen over the past two years is an incredible amount of growth and interest in the event from the community. Just the sheer number of people showing up has been incredible. Normally we [solely support] Operation Liberty Hill’s summer food drive [during the event], and we’re not trying to take away from the food drive, but we have such a big platform that we wanted to do something more. We realize there are many non-profit groups trying to do things to make a difference, and they may not always have the ability to get the word out. Since we have this successful thing going, we feel a responsibility to take care of some of these other organizations.”
After attending the informational meeting next week, local organizations can apply to be part of the Day of Giving by completing an application form at www.libertyhillfireworks.com. The deadline for applications is April 6. Organizations will then be selected for participation by the sponsors of the Independence Day Spectacular. Organizations that are selected will be featured in the newspaper, on the website and through social media in the months leading up to the Day of Giving.
“The [organizations] have to be raising money for a specific project or purpose,” Wilkison said. “On the application they will be able to tell us all about what they plan on doing with the money that is raised. Once we’ve selected the organizations that will be participating, they will be notified and they will be asked to create a PayPal account if they don’t already have one. We’ll have a page for each participating group on the website with information on their project and what they’re trying to do, and then on June 28, people will be able to go to their specific PayPal link and contribute.”
The non-profit organizations will also be recognized at the Independence Day Spectacular event. They will have booths at the event where they can add to their fundraising efforts, and they will each have an opportunity to talk about their organization and projects on stage during the event.
“We’ll bring them up to the stage and announce how much money they raised, what they’ll do with it and let them talk for a few minutes about that so they can get some recognition,” Wilkison said. “That will go a long way. This will be the first year that Liberty Hill has had something like this. We want it to be the start of a tradition that is associated with the Independence Day event every year.”
Amsler said she encourages the whole town to get involved in the Day of Giving.
“I think every school, church, community organization and group of friends should get behind this event and help promote it to actively raise money,” she said. “We need all of our organizations to own this and support it.”
Wilkison added that the Day of Giving will be a new way for the community to take care of its local non-profit organizations.
“We have a very generous community and a lot of needs, but sometimes we don’t see all the needs that are here,” she said. “We’re trying to bring awareness to what the needs are in Liberty Hill so people can help. This [Day of Giving] is a big step toward that.”
For more information on the upcoming informational meeting, search for “Liberty Hill Day of Giving Info Session” on Facebook or contact the newspaper, (512) 778-5577.