Every year, the North Texas community comes together on September 22nd to spread awareness and raise money for the hundreds of charities benefitting the DFW area.
This year, Denton has increased its participation in North Texas Giving Day more than ever before with an entire day of activities and events happening in the downtown square in the name of charity.
With help from the University of North Texas, local business, the mayor and even a special performance courtesy of the Oaktopia Festival, organizers are hoping this will be the biggest and most successful year yet.
“We are excited that Oaktopia is providing us with the band, The Texas Gentlemen, at free of charge and is helping to promote our event,” Laura Wells, Director of Research Development for the Good Samaritan Society, said. “The Actor’s Conservatory of Denton will also be doing a flash mob at 6:15 p.m.. These are all efforts to attract more people to the square.”
Because the event is taking place on kickoff night for Oaktopia Fest and the Food Truck Festival, Wells is expecting a higher turnout which means a higher number of donations.
“I’ve heard about [Giving Day] but I wasn’t really sure what it was,” sophomore business major David McCoy said. “It sounds like fun though so I’ll probably check it out.”
According to Wells, this event, which is put on annually by the Communities Foundation of Texas, is “the largest online giving event in the nation” and has been going on since 2008 and is growing every year.
According to the CFT website, this event raised $33 million across all of North Texas last year which was nearly $8 million more than the year before. In 2015, 2,022 nonprofits participated with 137 hailing from Denton County. This year there are even more charities getting involved.
Wells is expecting even more of a turnout, with 61 confirmed charities participating in the events at the square, eleven more than last year.
They have also been doing a better job of getting the word out. There are signs hung around town as well as coverage from local news outlets and promotion by Oaktopia, Wells said.
“I had never heard of this event before this year,” junior media arts major Maria Lempke said. “I saw a sign about it and I saw UNT tweeting about it. It sounds like a really good cause and I’m definitely gonna try to make it down there.”
“Everyone on a regular basis spends $25 going out to eat or on a new shirt,” Wells said. “Why not give it to a nonprofit and help them make a difference in the lives of others in the community.”
The website is open for donations from 6 a.m. to midnight on September 22nd and events will be happening all day at the Square and around town.
For more information and to find out how to give, visit NorthTexasGivingDay.org.