The Big Payback is designed to inspire support of the good work in our area. It’s Middle Tennessee’s largest day of charitable giving. More than 770 charities, schools and religious institutions participated this year in the 24 hours of online giving on May 3.
For GraceWorks, the Big Payback is a day dedicated to raising funds to purchase backpacks for Williamson County students in need. Since one in five children may not have access to basic school supplies because of their family’s economic circumstances, receiving a backpack filled with the tools needed to succeed in school can be a life-changing experience.
More than 2,000 backpacks are needed so they can be filled with school supplies and distributed across Williamson County at events such as the Big Backpack Giveaway on July 30.
At $5 per backpack, GraceWorks set a challenging fundraising goal of $10,000 for this year’s Big Payback which was a significant increase over the $6,120 raised in 2015.
After a strong morning start, an overwhelming volume of donations to the numerous nonprofits caused the Big Payback site to overload and donation boxes stopped functioning when donors attempted to submit gifts.
“By late morning, donors were unable to give through the link we provided in all our social media to our Big Payback page,” said GraceWorks Communications Manager Jeff Fuqua. “We shifted gears quickly and began pointing everyone to our own donation page in an attempt to save the day.”
Though technical issues eventually caused the Big Payback site to close early, the GraceWorks donation page continued to receive gifts. In addition, the Tennessee Steel Haulers donated $2,000 to match individual donations and the GraceWorks Thrift Stores sold $5 gift cards to customers. GraceWorks also won a $1,500 prize from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee because one donor made the 1,000th gift received before their server issues began.
We’re excited to report that, in total, GraceWorks met its goal totaling $11,688.80 which means 2,400 backpacks can now be purchased.
“A technical glitch like this could have made it difficult for GraceWorks to provide enough backpacks for students this year,” said Church and Community Relations Manager Brian Myers. “I am continuously amazed and humbled by the generosity and dedication of our donors. Because of them, students will have the tools to succeed in school so they can be the best they can be.”
For those who wish to give to the backpack program, please visit our donation page and direct your donation to “Backpack/School Supplies.”