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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Tuesday was “Washington County Gives” day, when dozens of non-profit organizations are given a spotlight and a chance to receive thousands of dollars in donations. The event is meant to be held annually by The Community Foundation of Washington County on the second Tuesday of May, and 2021 was its ninth year. The pandemic put a kink in The Community Foundation’s plans in 2020, but this year they bounced back.

The Foundation held a make-up day of giving in Sept. 2020. After that, executives were concerned about the turnout for the 2021 event, as COVID-19 had put many people in difficult financial situations. But the community shocked them by turning out more than ever, despite the pandemic.

“A lot of the businesses have just been so generous. I think they’ve realized there’s a need,” said Tim Luipersbeck, director of marketing and communications for The Community Foundation. “And when they knew their sponsorship dollars were gonna go directly into the non-profits — it’s not a revenue-generating thing for The Community Foundation at all — once they realize 100% goes right back to the non-profits, they really stepped up to the plate.”

With a midnight deadline, the fundraising goal for “Washington County Gives” was $500,000. The Community Foundation was optimistic about this goal, and they had already started thinking about how to do next year even better, when the country is hopefully past the pandemic.

“With next year being our 10th annual, I’d love to see us having maybe an end-of-the-day wrap-up. Any participants come, we’re gonna have food, we’re gonna have music. Maybe things like that. I think we’re already sort of brainstorming,” said Luipersbeck.

Even when the event is over, Luipersbeck wanted to stress to everyone that it’s never a bad time for charity, and giving whatever you can is always appreciated.

“I think sometimes people feel apprehensive about giving, right? Because they think ‘maybe this isn’t quite enough,'” said Luipersbeck. “Maybe all I can contribute is 10 bucks, 20 bucks. I think the general message that we like to convey is that every little bit really does help.”

Some of the eligible non-profits included the Humane Society of Washington County and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.