“I’m really excited about the challenge goal this year, $250,000,” Mayor Barbara Bass said in an interview Dec. 14. “I’m also excited about the selection of nonprofits this year. We have some that haven’t been in the campaign before. Shine Your Light has been a tremendous success and helped to refill the coffers of nonprofits that help so many during the holiday season. They need to be replenished for the New Year.”
Last year, Mayor Bass issued a challenge to the community to raise more than $200,000, far more than the campaign had ever raised.
The community surpassed the goal by more than $25,000, an almost 40 percent increase in giving from 2010. Mayor Bass called the effort “phenomenal.”
Since its inception in 2008, Shine Your Light has raised more than $600,000 to meet the most pressing needs in the community.
Shine Your Light is an annual end-of-year giving campaign where East Texas residents can donate to selected nonprofits through the East Texas Communities Foundation. The campaign ends Monday.
This year, the proceeds will be divided among a record-breaking nine agencies: The East Texas Food Bank, the Bethesda Clinic, The Hospice of East Texas, the Alzheimer’s Alliance, People Attempting to Help (PATH), the East Texas Crisis Center, The Salvation Army, the Samaritan Counseling Center and Meals On Wheels.
“Each year, we see these gifts pouring in to support these worthy agencies,” said Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “Some people say they had already made gifts to the agencies, but give again because of the matching funds or the stories that remind them of another aspect of why they need to connect. We are blessed each year to see the generosity of our community demonstrated.”
This year’s matching funds totaled $95,000, more than has ever been committed. The matching fund partners are the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Mayor Barbara and Billy Bass, the Fourth Partner Foundation, ETCF Harold and Rosemary Beaird Fund, the Niblack Chari-table Fund, Terry and Dennis Darryl, Citizens 1st Bank, Drs. SJ Vukelja and Lawrence Anderson, Dermatology Associates of Tyler, American State Bank, Herb and Melvina Buie and an anonymous donor.
To donate to Shine Your Light, visit www.tylerpaper.com, or ETCF.org, or mail your check payable to Shine Your Light c/o East Texas Communities Foundation, 315 N. Broadway Ave., Tyler, Texas, 75702.