Portage Health Foundation prepares for upcoming Giving Tuesday

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:58 PM EST
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - On Nov. 29, Copper Country nonprofits will team up with the Portage Health Foundation (PHF) for its annual Giving Tuesday event.

The event allows the community to “put their money where their heart is” and donate to 26 different organizations.

That is five more than last year.

“What we do is that we put up a match,” said PHF Marketing and Communications Director Michael Babcock. “This year it’s $200,000, and we take donations for 26 different nonprofits, and we’re going to throw out that match to the organizations, assuming we get to $200,000 in donations. They’ll get every penny back that gets donated to them.”

Babcock says donations leading up to the event so far have been significantly larger than last year, despite inflation.

“We are up quite a bit over last year, almost double where we were last year at this point,” continued Babcock. “More than anything else, it just shows that these people that live in our community support the non-profits that make our community a better place.”

One nonprofit to benefit is 31 Backpacks.

It works with schools to provide students with meals on weekends and breaks. Additionally, 31 Backpacks provides other items like toothpaste and hygiene products.

The event is crucial for the organization’s program.

“It is extremely critical because we are coming up to the winter break for the students that are in our program,” said 31 Backpacks Organization Vice President Melissa Maki. “And that we cover the 14 days that they are away from school. If they are at school, they get free breakfast and lunch there, but when schools are closed, then that food is unavailable.”

Higher costs have also made it difficult for the organization to buy critical supplies.

“It’s not unusual for me to go out and buy 20 loaves of bread at a time.” continued Maki. “A few months ago, that would cost us $27.50. The last time I bought it, it was $97, and that is across the board with all the products that we use.”

Giving Tuesday will run throughout the day at the PHF offices on 400 Quincy Street in Hancock.