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John McMillin: United Way has high hopes for Big Payback event

John McMillin • Updated Mar 14, 2017 at 6:00 PM

United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland is once again participating in the Big Payback, a 24-hour online giving event created to help Middle Tennessee nonprofits raise funds vital to continuing their work and directly improving the community around them. This is the second year that UWWUC is taking part in the event. We’re hoping that this year will bring increased awareness of the event and the opportunity our local residents to lend their help to our United Way.

Presented by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, this region’s dedicated day of giving begins May 3 at midnight and runs for 24 hours. Once the clock starts, anyone can visit thebigpayback.org and make donations to United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland and other participating nonprofits –including schools and religious institutions – serving the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee.

Donors can view and select from participating organizations based on location and focus area such as animals, education, health care and more, and support multiple nonprofits with gifts from $10 and up.

We have several partner programs that also will participate in the Big Payback, and we wish everyone the best of luck. We’re excited because this is a great opportunity for people who don’t participate in an employee giving campaign to support their local United Way and initiatives like our 211 call service to ask for or volunteer help, our stuff-the-bus program or one of our many early education initiatives.

The Big Payback has made a tremendous impact on the Middle Tennessee community, helping raise more than $6.75 million for area organizations during the last three years of giving days.

Gifts from the public during the Big Payback are boosted with funds from sponsors of the event, which provide multiple opportunities for UWWUC to vie for financial incentives and additional prizes. The real-time leaderboard at thebigpayback.org tracks donations and creates additional excitement surrounding the day.

“Nonprofits do important, life-changing work every day across Middle Tennessee,” said Ellen Lehman, president of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “The Big Payback has become an exciting opportunity for us to come together as a community to support their efforts and recognize the positive impact they have on our neighbors. It’s an easy, fun and a meaningful way for us to show our local pride, give back, and make an enormous impact in the process.”

For more information, visit thebigpayback.org. The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit cfmt.org.

John McMillin is president of the United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland. Email him at john@givetouwwc.org.

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