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Westmoreland nonprofits showered with Giving Tuesday donations | TribLIVE.com
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Westmoreland nonprofits showered with Giving Tuesday donations

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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Clients line up as volunteers distribute food at the Westmoreland County Food Bank in February 2017.Clients line up as volunteers distribute food at the Westmoreland County Food Bank in February 2017.

Westmoreland County nonprofits received more than $30,000 through this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign, hosted locally by Pittsburgh Magazine and GiveBigPittsburgh.com .

The Westmoreland County Food Bank broke into the Top 25 for the region, finishing in 24 th place with $13,360 raised.

“We consider it a significant amount. Anytime you can engage the community in what you do, it’s a considerable impact,” said Jennifer Miller, director of development and interim CEO.

The food bank promoted the campaign throughout the day on social media and via emails that encouraged people to turn a $25 donation into $250 worth of food.

“We’re able to do a lot with that money. It goes a long way toward purchasing food,” Miller said.

The food bank raised $200 more than on Giving Tuesday 2017, partly because of a late giving surge that more than doubled its total from 5 p.m. to midnight.

“It’s really great that people have taken a hold of it and do a lot with it,” Miller said.

Held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, the mass fundraising effort dates to 2012, when the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City and United Nations Foundation teamed to establish a global day of charitable contributions.

In Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Magazine led the regional Giving Tuesday push with a centralized website for vetting nonprofits and managing Giving Tuesday donations via online fundraising platform GiveGab. The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and The Pittsburgh Foundation also partnered to help with the Give Big Pittsburgh campaign.

The local campaign raised $1.65 million for 385 organizations, although donations are permitted through the end of the year.

The Greensburg-based Blackburn Center , which provides shelter, advocacy and counseling services to victims of abuse, ended the day with a total of $3,725 raised. The organization also promoted the campaign through social media.

“When we get this kind of support from the community, we invest it directly into the services we provide to victims,” said Ann Emmerling, executive director. “This kind of support really helps us to fill in the gaps.”

Also finishing in the Top 100 were the Westmoreland Museum of American Art (No. 76) and the Murrysville Meals on Wheels (No. 99).

“We did wonderful,” said Lynn Staab, Meals on Wheels coordinator. “I think this is the most we’ve ever gotten.”

Staab said the Murrysville charity recently bought a new convection oven for $4,000, so the Giving Tuesday money “will definitely help us pay that off.”

Murrysville Meals on Wheels prepares meals at First Presbyterian Church’s Laird Hall and serves an estimated 50-60 clients four days a week.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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