Mt. Pleasant area groups take part in 'Day of Giving'
By A.J. Panian
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Rick Meason has big plans for the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society.
This week, Meason, the society's president, reintroduced the nonprofit organization's official monthly newsletter, The Crossroad Chronicle.
The publication, which was out of print for some time, was brought back to life by Meason with the help of his wife, Heidi, and several other volunteers.
It was mailed to society members, as well as visitors who have signed their names on the registry at the Overly Log Cabin in the Old Town section of the borough, he said.
“It's a small project right now that I'm hoping will develop over time with help from more people,” Meason said.
With that in mind, Meason said it's a good thing that the society is one of four Mt. Pleasant area nonprofit organizations scheduled to be part of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County's 2013 Day of Giving.
The annual event began at midnight Oct. 3 and runs through 11:59 p.m. on that date in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Foundation's yearly initiative.
“It's a good opportunity for additional fundraising and for us to make people more aware of our organization and what we do,” Meason said.
“Any contributions that people can make are appreciated because we are a small organization so we can use whatever we can get,” he said.
The Day of Giving is designed to increase the number of individual donors to more than 650 nonprofit organizations registered to participate in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.
The match pool for 2013 is about $95,000 for Westmoreland County organizations.
The minimum gift per organization is $25 during the event.
While there is no limit on the amount a donor can give to an organization, only the first $1,000 is eligible to receive a portion of the match pool.
There are no limits on the number or amount of gifts an organization can receive.
All donations during the 24-hour period will receive a pro-rated portion of the match pool.
The other three local nonprofit organizations taking part include:
• The Cat Committee of Mt. Pleasant
• Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands
• Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action (a program under United Way of Westmoreland County)
In 2012, the event, which involves donating online, attracted almost 18,000 individual donations, according to John Ellis, spokesman for the Pittsburgh Foundation.
More than $8.5 million was raised for the region's nonprofit groups, and since the launch of the program in 2009, the Day of Giving events have raised more than $21 million for local charitable organizations, Ellis said.
“A great many nonprofits have benefited from the generosity of increasing number of donors who have embraced the convenience of giving online,” said Jim Bendel, executive director of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.
Cindy Stevenson leads the Cat Committee of Mt. Pleasant, works to humanely decrease the homeless cat population and euthanasia rate of cats in the Mt. Pleasant area, and promote good health and well-being among ferel cats through sterilization, vaccinations and community education.
“We're just trying to make a point to people in town that this ‘Day of Giving' is not some abstract thing, that donations to the Day of Giving are directed to organizations working hard everyday to make Mt. Pleasant a better place,” Stevenson said.
Donations through the event to the Regional Family YMCA goes to its Strong Kids Campaign, which makes it possible for financially challenged children and their families to become members there, said Steve Simon, the facility's executive director.
“This will be our third year participating. It really helps our donors do a little more with their money than even they were planning on,” Simon said.
Melaney Hegyes, program director of Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action, appreciates the foundation's willingness to supplement donations, she said.
“We need to support the elderly in our local communities, so it makes it a worthwhile undertaking,” Hegyes said.
Those interested in donating can visit westmorelandgives.org.
Editor's note: Those who wish to donate to Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action must do so under “United Way of Westmoreland County” on the website, and the donation will be disbursed to the Faith in Action site.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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