UPDATE: Christmas gifts push Give! past $402,000




Wow! This area's generosity has continued on Christmas Day, with nearly $3,000 in donations just in the past eight hours, taking the Indy's Give! campaign to $402,212.47 !

Now comes the stretch run for this year, leading to the deadline at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31.

——————ORIGINAL POST, 8:14 a.m., DEC. 24—————

Here it is, the day before Christmas, and we at the Independent have something very special to celebrate.

Our third annual Give! campaign to benefit local nonprofits is on the brink of surpassing $400,000 - with another full week to go.

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the campaign total (you can check it yourself 24/7 at indygive.com) stands at $397,317.47. You can also make your own donations at that site to one or more of the 49 participating nonprofits.

Yes, the ultimate goal this year is $555,555.55, which still might seem like a long way off. But with many more matching funds pledged to the campaign, based on how nonprofits fare, it's safe to say that we have a chance to make it over the top.

But the donations this year are especially gratifying when you consider:

In the first year of Give!, the total was $198,698.59 — more than 30 percent beyond the initial goal of $150,000.

Last year's goal was $333,333.00, but the donations totaled $336,872.44. After the matching grants were added, the final total surpassed $422,000.

So the 2011 campaign is leaving 2010 behind, with one more busy week to go.

Indy associate publisher Carrie Simison-Bitz, co-chair of the campaign, says the organizers are overwhelmed by area residents' generosity.

“We know what a tough time people are having as the economy sits motionless, so the growth Give! is experiencing is unbelievable,” Simison-Bitz says. “Our donors are really getting behind what they see as important, vital parts of our community and putting their support right here, in the Pikes Peak region, so we can help ourselves and our neighbors weather the economic storm.”

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