Cattaraugus Gives cultivates giving spirit in Cattaraugus County

Karen Niemic Buchheit

In this special blog post, CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit, shares some thoughts on the Cattaraugus Gives program and the true mission behind it.

Make sure to add Cattaraugus Gives to your calendar for November 27, 2018, and get ready to support the causes that mean the most to you in our Cattaraugus County community!


We did not exactly know what to expect when we decided to organize Cattaraugus Gives, a day of online giving in Cattaraugus County, for the first time in 2018.

The outcome and the resulting impact surpassed all our expectations.

With just a month to plan and execute online fundraising campaigns, some 40 nonprofits in Cattaraugus County banded together to raise over $28,000 in a 24-hour period on Giving Tuesday. Our Foundation also sponsored $5,000 in prizes for participating nonprofit organizations, so all told, participating nonprofits together received over $33,000 to support and serve their missions.

We considered Cattaraugus Gives our opportunity to directly support the nonprofits in our community who work so hard every day to provide the services that make life better for all of us.

We were thrilled with the amount that nonprofits raised, but what those dollars mean for the community means so much more.

Every dollar raised during Cattaraugus Gives goes back to serving the community in the form of projects and services.

Thanks to money raised during Cattaraugus Gives, Southern Tier Health Care System was able to build an ambulance simulator for its EMT training center. Olean General Hospital received support for the purchase of a $2,000 AccuVein vein finder, which increases the accuracy of finding veins on patients, eliminating multiple sticks and needle pokes.

Animal welfare agencies like Empire Animal Rescue Society, the SPCA in Cattaraugus County and Joyful Rescues received essential support to provide emergency surgeries to shelter animals and help facilitate adoptions with loving families.

Money raised helped support the county’s 4-H program to educate young agriculturists. Funds raised supported area breast cancer patients and survivors served by the Pink Pumpkin Project.

The list goes on.

And there lies the true spirit and mission of Cattaraugus Gives. Yes, the program is about raising funds. But fundraising is just a necessary vehicle to provide citizens of Cattaraugus County the help and support they need.

The reality of the nonprofit world is that community support allows for community impact.

Government funding and grants from private funders sometimes are not always a given.  Sometimes budget lines get cut. Sometimes unexpected expenses pop up.

Our nonprofits work far too hard for budgetary restrictions and the unpredictability of funding to hinder their missions.

The true mission of Cattaraugus Gives is to create thriving nonprofits that in turn create a stronger, healthier, more vibrant community.

You can see a full list of those organizations registered for Cattaraugus Gives this year and learn more by visiting cattfoundation.org/givingday.

I invite you to support this mission by making a gift to the organizations and charitable causes that mean the most to you during the second annual Cattaraugus Gives on November 27 at nygivesday.org.

Because we all win when Cattaraugus Gives.

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