FRESNO, California (KSEE) — In 35 days, a fundraising campaign started by Fresno mayor-elect Jerry Dyer managed to raise a total of $1,074,294.23. Dyer says every cent is going to help non-profits that have been providing vital services for those impacted by the pandemic.
The Marjaree Mason Center is preparing for the usual summer influx in domestic violence cases, which will surely just add to the already higher demand from the COVID-19 situation.
Nicole Linder, executive director of the center, said there is also “a desire for people needing to be in our services longer than usual, because of so many other factors. So, we have more people coming and they’re staying longer.”
Launched April 2, the fundraiser also enlisted the help of five business leaders who would match up to $500,000 in donations.
“As I said in the beginning, every single dollar counts. Every single dollar gets multiplied by two,” Dyer said at the announcement Thursday. In his remarks, he said many of the donors he met were people also impacted by the pandemic — but still wanted to help.
The Marjaree Mason Center, Central California Food Bank, Poverello House, and the Fresno Rescue Mission all got more than $200,000 from the campaign.
More than a dozen smaller ones got shares of $30,000 to $70,000.
The Valley Dream Center is one of them. The center usually has a number of professional development and community programs going on, but the pandemic has had them hone in on food distribution.
Tish Standley, executive director for the center, said as COVID-19 shut the world down she questioned if her non-profit could make it through.
With those funds coming, Standley said the center will be able to expand their current operations. Aside from helping with their food services, the plan is to use the funds to move forward with their plans for HOPE House — a transitional living community for women and children on their campus.
“We know these resources are going to help us to do that,” Standley said.
Over 20 organizations are getting a share of the money raised from the GiveHelpNow campaign.