Old Way Of Funding Goes Online

LYNDON-All year round the non-profit organization H.O.P.E. raises money for different programs they offer to the community. This year the organization took on a new approach to an old way of funding.

"Almost one hundred people have bid on the various items. We have 48 items up for bid. I think it's been four to five thousand dollars that has been bid," H.O.P.E. President Board of Trustees directors Bob Mccabe said. For the last seven years the Helping Other People Everyday non-profit has had an in person auction to raise money for a program they've been doing for many years that usually consist of a dance and a dinner. But due to the newest strain of covid 19 the organization thought of a different way to still keep the auction going for an eighth year switching to online.

Mccabe explains this year's auction was very different from their usual way of doing things. The non-profit is collecting 100% of the bids as more and more people bid online. Versus collecting all the money the night of the auction. "I think that there is an auction mentality when people see the item. Like for example, you would bid on it and I said 'i'm going to bid a little higher.' We would have a sheet of paper and you'd frequently see fifteen bids, and sometimes be a dollar more. Or sometimes two dollars more. I think people get caught up in that. Which they don't to a degree when it's an online auction," Mccabe explained.

When bidders scroll through the online page they are asked to give an email, name, and phone number. More than 10 organizations donated to the auction this year, even some neighboring non-profits. This concept of a non-profit donating to another non-profit isn't something people see everyday. When it comes to non-profits giving back to their community, that particular organization has to be careful about how they choose to give. "We have to vet the gifts that we make really carefully. We look for organizations like H.O.P.E. that are locally based that benefit people in our community. That are part of what we consider our neighborhood," Fairbanks External Relations Director Anna Rubin explained.

The Caledonia County Fair also gave to H.O.P.E. as well, and they are in a similar situation. "We don't give to individuals. We just give to organizations that in some way we can mark off as advertising and expense and thereby will certainly justify the donation." Caledonia County Fair President Richard Lawrence explained. Both Fairbanks and Caledonia County Fair get asks from the community every year to donate to local nonprofits. It's just a matter of who needs it most, and how the donation can benefit both parties.

All of the proceeds have been donated to H.O.P.E.'s backpack program. Each backpack is filled with snacks and some school supplies for children in need. Over 80 packs are given out each week, and the impact really makes a difference. "It felt really good to know that they were going home with the backpack with food they were going to eat. It was some healthy things, but also food that kids like to eat. Which I think is so important." Former Kingdom East Teacher Erin Guilfoyle explained, many of her former students benefited from this program. She shared, It also takes some relief off of parents trying to make ends meet for their children.

The auction ended on March 31st raising over 4 thousand dollars. H.O.P.E. wishes to go back to an in person auction next year. If you want to donate to the backpack program they accept snacks, boxes of milk, and canned foods. Although the backpack program gets additional funding all year round, this is just another way to change a child's life. "I think part of it when we get people together for an event. A dinner, dance, and auction it's the interaction of people. I think that's what's missing right now all over the country. Just the interaction of people together. It makes a difference I think," Mccabe explains.