Liberty Hill comes through for local non-profit organizations on Day of Giving



In an effort to expand the giving element of the community’s Independence Day festivities, The Independent organized and co-sponsored with the City of Liberty Hill the first-ever Liberty Hill Day of Giving in conjunction with the July 3 celebration.

The community responded to that call on June 28 to give in a big way, pouring more than $35,000 into nine local nonprofits.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the response of the community to this new charitable program,” said newspaper owner and publisher Shelly Wilkison. “We believed this could be a great opportunity to raise money locally, but had no idea how successful it would be.”

The Day of Giving was launched by The Liberty Hill Independent June 28 at the Chamber of Commerce monthly Lunch and Learn where more than 70 business leaders listened while nine deserving organizations shared their needs as they serve Liberty Hill. From there, the drive to generate donations, through a variety of different efforts, was on.

The nine organizations chosen to participate through an application process included L4Cares, Cross Tracks Church, Hope House, Liberty Hill Development Foundation, Divine Savior Academy, Liberty Hill Lions Club, the Liberty Hill Public Library, Dream A Dream Therapeutic Horsemanship, and Operation Liberty Hill.

Benefits for the nonprofits involved included being highlighted in a video produced by The Independent, widely circulated to help share their message and what their fundraising project was.

Each organization also had the opportunity to set up a booth and raise money at the Independence Day Spectacular, which put them in front of 4,500 people.

“We have amazing nonprofit organizations in our town that are doing wonderful things in our community, for our children, for our seniors, for our history,” said Katie Amsler with The Independent. “We are happy people got to learn their stories, dug deep, and opened their hearts to help.”

Hope House helped kick off the Day of Giving with a big announcement regarding a donation from Smokey Mo’s BBQ.

Erland Schulze, Development Director with Hope House, which was hoping to raise enough funds to build a storage building at one of its homes in Liberty Hill, said Smokey Mo’s pledged to donate a portion of its proceeds during the Day of Giving to their cause.

Because of the generosity, Schulze invited the owners of Smokey Mo’s to tour the facilities, and following the tour the business wrote a check for $3,000 to cover the cost of the project in addition to the previously pledged involvement.

Hope House ultimately raised $6,300 through the Day of Giving.

Other local businesses, including The Blue Door, P&R Propane, Schlotzsky’s, The Indigo Salon, Jamie Etzkorn PLLC, Fit4Mom, Liberty Hill Pharmacy and Simply Home also pledged a portion of their proceeds June 28 to help the various nonprofits.

The top fundraiser was Operation Liberty Hill, which was seeking help to purchase a new walk-in freezer, and tallied $13,304.

“It’s all been about trying to get our walk-in cooler and freezer, so we really put a lot of effort into promoting our fundraiser along with the Day of Giving,” Baker said. “That’s what really made it successful for us. I’m just thrilled with the amount we raised. We were able to get our walk-in freezer and cooler.”

Working to raise money for a building expansion and a new roof, Liberty Hill Librarian Angela Palmer was thrilled to see the library raise $7,238.

“Our roof is almost paid for,” she said, adding that almost as important as the money was the chance to tell people about the public library.

“I got to talk about the library and spread the word about what we do and what we need. It was a great way to get information out as well, and it was huge that way for us,” Palmer said. “We had a lot of people come in and get library cards because they had finally heard about the library and where we are.”

Schulze echoed that sentiment, saying any help in spreading the word was invaluable.

Each organization made progress toward its fundraising goal.

Divine Savior Academy raised $1,019, Dream a Dream totaled $1,570, the Lions Club raised $340, L4Cares had $1,610, Liberty Hill Development Foundation $1,487 and Cross Tracks Church finished with $1,850.

Baker said she is already looking forward to seeing how the event grows in coming years.

“I think next year it is going to be even better, and in following years even better than that. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it grows. It is a great thing The Independent is doing, we can’t thank everyone enough.”

The giving spirit of the community has sent a clear message that there is a bright future in helping one another in Liberty Hill.

“We really can make a difference when the whole town gets together,” Amsler said. “It was amazing what we were able to do together.”