Miamians catch a lot of flack. People call us superficial, money-hungry, rude -- lots of not-so-nice things. But after last Thursday, they can't call us stingy.
The Miami Foundation's third annual Give Miami Day raised a whopping, record-breaking $5.2 million through 24 hours of charitable giving. More than 500 local philanthropic groups are the beneficiaries of the funds raised, from animal rescues, to environmental orgs, to mental health intervention groups.
Looks like "generous" can officially be added to the list of adjectives used to describe us.
So who raised the most? The top five groups with the largest hauls included:
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation was the big winner with $368,739 raised through 278 gifts. Following them, the Children's Movement of Florida raised $156,925 through 527 gifts; the Cushman School, $93,179 through 249 gifts; JCS, $84,391 through 177 gifts; and Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, $78,155 through 84 gifts.
"Miami has always gotten a bad rap for not being a generous community. People say that Miamians don't give. Give Miami Day has allowed us to officially call bullshit on that notion. Miami is a generous place. We've proven that," says Javier Soto, President and CEO of The Miami Foundation.
You can check out the full rundown of donations via the Miami Foundation's online leaderboard.
"It was phenomenal. For the first time we set a public goal of $5 million. To reach that was really gratifying, it was really exciting," Soto adds.
The Miami Foundation celebrated the day's success with a big block party at Marlins Park, complete with food trucks, drinks and hip hop dancers. Lots of nonprofits hosted festivities, too.
"One thing that was different this year is that I think a lot more nonprofits were hosting Give Miami Day events. Shake-a-Leg had an event, the Arsht Center were having a dance party -- I think the fact that nonprofits are now building some events around the day adds to the buzz and excitement," Soto says.
"The premise of Give Miami Day is that everyone can be a philanthropist. This is a town where you have the ability to help create, which is different from places that are more established. Miami is a young place and all of us are engaged in creating the greatest city we can. Give Miami Day gies an opportunity to help contribute to that."
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