Bayou giving from generous communities

When it comes to generous giving, there aren’t many places that can outdo our own hometowns.

This part of south Louisiana is exceptionally generous and caring, and the evidence of it is everywhere around us. Most recently, it turned up in response to BayouGives, the online fundraising campaign that asked local donors to give to local nonprofits – groups that do all sorts of good things all year round and need our support to continue those good deeds.

They got it. In fact, in just the first day, donors accumulated more than $46,000 – an impressive total. But they weren’t done there. Originally intended to be a 24-hour event, organizers extended it to 48 hours for folks to help dozens of nonprofit groups get much-needed donations. In the end, nearly 500 donors had contributed more than $53,000.

“Sometimes 24 hours just isn’t enough time to do all you want to do, said Bayou Community Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Armand, whose group put together the event. “A lot of those (nonprofits) are volunteer-based organizations that still make great impacts in our community. BayouGives gives them an opportunity to showcase their work and reach out to donors in a way that they might not be able to throughout the year.”

In the face of the continuing downturn that has affected the local oil industry and cost thousands of jobs, more local people are in need of help than was the case just several years ago. Programs such as food banks, for instance, help make a difference in countless local lives, making it just a bit easier for families to make ends meet and put food on the table.

But that’s just one example of the kind of local organizations that get help from the community so they can turn around and help that very same community. It’s a wonderful way to remind ourselves that in our small part of the world, we really do rely on one another. We can help turn around the fortunes of those among us who need help. And we also know that when we need help, our friends and neighbors will be here to lend a hand.

Congratulations to all who played a part in this campaign. The people who gave, of course, deserve a huge portion of the praise. But the people who asked and who continue to do so much with the limited resources they get also deserve a round of applause.

Well done all around.