The Difference a Day Makes

Why should anyone care about the Great Community Give?

Each year, for the last seven years, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County nonprofit organizations have come together to promote one common day of fundraising. It’s called the Great Community Give and, this year, it will be held on April 17th. Hosted by The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, this local giving day is part of a trend that’s been growing around the country and the world.

So, what’s the big deal about the Great Community Give? Or any special giving day, for that matter? If I were to remove my nonprofit director nametag and consider the day as a typical citizen, would I really grasp its significance?

I’d like to think that even if I weren’t so involved in Rocktown History’s own GCG campaign, I would recognize the value that giving days offer. After all, I want to see my community flourish—and that means supporting education, health, quality of life initiatives, and broader opportunities for the people who live and work here. These are the types of programs delivered by the 157 nonprofits taking part in this year’s Great Community Give.

I hope I’d also realize, as Penny Q. Citizen, that giving days aren’t solely about money.While it’s true that people are encouraged to make donations—and a LOT of critical funding is raised each year—giving days are an impactful way for the idea and spirit of generosity to spread. Philanthropy in all forms (time, talent, and treasure) indicates concern for humankind and benefits both the giver and the receiver.

A shared day of philanthropy is about neighbors helping neighbors to maintain a healthy, cared for, and happy community of people. Giving days like the Great Community Give create a moment for us to rally around our shared values and work toward that common goal. It’s a chance that may feel rare these days to bring people together and build community pride. To me, that’s the greatest difference a day can make.