GiveBIG St. Croix Valley Is Set for April 30

by | Apr 2024

Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue

Photo: Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue

One can give a little, give a lot, and giveBIG St. Croix Valley.

Presented by United Way St. Croix Valley, the giveBIG St. Croix Valley campaign is a 24-hour giving event scheduled midnight to midnight, starting on April 30 to benefit nonprofits serving communities in Burnett, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties.

Last year, 1,889 donors gave 3,051 donations totaling $362,000.

Steve McCarthy, executive director of United Way St. Croix Valley, says most of the 80 plus nonprofits participating in the giveBIG St. Croix Valley campaign are human service organizations. “Some are super small, and some have $100,000 budgets,” he says. “Every one of them benefits.”

Donations are made by visiting the campaign website,, where you can click on the organization you’re supporting, and make the donation. It’s as simple as that.

While 80 different organizations support 80 different causes, McCarthy uses United Ways’ ALICE as the poster person to the giveBIG campaign. ALICE is a United Way acronym for asset limited, income constrained, employed. ALICE represents an increasing number of individuals or families who work but are unable to meet their basic needs (food, childcare, housing, health care and transportation). They earn above federal poverty levels, but they’re not earning enough to thrive financially in their communities.

“One in four western Wisconsin households are ALICE,” McCarthy says. “Combined with people living at or below the federal poverty level, one in three western Wisconsin households are struggling. That’s a big
chunk of our population.”

Remedies? “We need to help ALICE in the moment,” McCarthy says. “We need to help ALICE to no longer be ALICE.”

Organizations participating in giveBIG St. Croix Valley are doing just that. “[GiveBIG is] a powerful thing for our community,” says Lisa Thanig, executive director of participating nonprofit Kinship of Polk County. “Donations help us grow but so does the PR and awareness.”

Kinship of Polk County

Photo: Kinship of Polk County

Kinship of Polk County works to improve the quality of a child’s life by establishing a relationship with a caring volunteer. Their community programs pair adults with youth. School-based programs match older students with younger students. “Our mission hasn’t changed, but the needs of our youth have,” Thanig says.

It’s All About Mindset

McCarthy sees giving campaigns as the start of a journey. “Giving takes practice,” he says. “As donors get more knowledgeable, they’re getting more engaged.”

GiveBIG St. Croix Valley records date back 10 years. Its biggest day occurred during the peak of COVID-19 when donations totaled $456,000.

Admittedly, the pandemic years were different. Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue, a giveBIG St. Croix Valley participant since 2018, knows these differences all too well.

“The pandemic brought in a flood of adoption interest and foster families, but that flood of foster interest has diminished in recent years, as families start to return to normal,” says Erica Mahmood-Nelson, administrative coordinator at Coco’s Heart. In the post-peak-pandemic world, dog supply outweighs dog demand.

“Donations make a world of difference and are lifesaving to the animals we serve,” Mahmood-Nelson says. “The giveBIG campaign is a wonderful way for the community to show their support … the benefits go beyond monetary. Stories on community support means the world to us, inspires us and fuels us to continue.” That’s big, giveBIG.

GiveBIG St. Croix Valley
Facebook: Give BIG St. Croix Valley
Instagram: @givebigscv


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