Nonprofit organizations make an essential impact on our communities. We often say that when the nonprofit sector is strong, so are our communities. Just look at the past two years as organizations sprang into action to meet the challenging demands of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, I would argue that this is nothing new for the NPOs. Organizations continually shift their focus to serve our communities better. Looking at emerging trends and then moving the ship gently and meticulously to meet that need is a beautiful dance organizations do regularly.
The power of philanthropy has shaped so many things in our area today. At Amarillo Area Foundation, we often have a front-row seat to watch the incredible work happening all over the 26 counties we serve. The only thing more significant than the organizations doing their essential piece is the donors who make the work possible. Though it may not always be obvious, the nonprofit sector also brings people together that may not always see things “eye to eye” but want to work together to serve their community. It is a power that is integral in this day and age. Nonprofit organizations often serve the most vulnerable members of our community and when you impact their work with your time, talents, and dollars, you help them make our communities even better places to live.
I want to qualify the word neighbor. I consider everyone in the Texas Panhandle my neighbor. It comes from working in this area and seeing many remarkable things happening. We are so interconnected and dependent on each community’s success to make our region genuinely thrive. The good news is that you can join your neighbors next month and create a lasting impact by giving generous gifts during The Panhandle Gives.
Since the inception of The Panhandle Gives, Amarillo Area Foundation has worked to create a movement of generosity, bolstering the idea that philanthropy is something that everyone can do. The Panhandle Gives is also a mechanism to help teach future generations about giving back. Every year, we hear how families come together and talk about how their families will donate during The Panhandle Gives, sometimes around the Thanksgiving table. I love that a generous table of culinary delights is the backdrop to talk about people, animals, seniors, women, children, and our region struggling to see a bright future. I think my mother, who passed this year, was the inventor of talking about tremendous systemic issues over the Thanksgiving table. I am sure she wasn’t, but that is how I was raised, and I often think I chose the nonprofit sector as my career path. I appreciate that heritage more than I could ever express in words. If you don’t talk about your community over the Thanksgiving table, I suggest you try it and have your kiddos hear the whole thing.
In my opinion, the best part of The Panhandle Gives is the diversity of organizations that are part of the movement. If you care about it, I can guarantee you will find the organization doing that work on the list of participants! As one donor called The Panhandle Gives, “Amazon Prime Day of Giving.” We love that idea, and the enthusiasm donors give during this time. It’s the collective voice of everyone that lifts the critical work done in our communities. The solution to the issues facing our neighbors is closer than you think. It’s YOU!
So, how do you participate in The Panhandle Gives? That’s an excellent question. First, the campaign runs November 21- 29, or #GivingTuesday! All you have to do is log on to www.thepanhandlegives.org, search for your favorite participating organizations, and add your gifts to your giving basket. Just like shopping online, only there is no buyer remorse for radical generosity! If you would like, you can also drop off a check at any local, Amarillo National Bank, Happy State Bank, or FirstBank Southwest locations. Your check will need to look like this:
Then sit back, relax, and change your LinkedIn profile to “Philanthropist” because you are one now! When we all GIVE, we make our communities even better! Make your plan to give during #ThePanhandleGives