Shine Your Light raises more than $177,000

Published on Saturday, 4 January 2014 21:30 - Written by By Rebecca Hoeffner rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

With an overall total of $177,775.45 after the last remaining donations were delivered, officials are calling Shine Your Light a success.

“This year’s total brings us to a significant milestone of $1 million raised in six years since the Shine Your Light community campaign started,” said Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “While our celebration is about what goes to the agencies, this is also a celebration of generosity of our community. We feel a great sense of joy to live in a place that pours itself out every year for these worthy organizations.”

This year, the campaign will be able to donate more to each organization than it did last year; at least one organization will be losing government income, and Shine Your Light helps make up for it.

“Shine Your Light is always an amazing reflection of all that is good about Tyler and East Texas,” Mayor Barbara Bass said. “Our children and youth will be blessed by the special programs our 2013 recipient nonprofits will be able to provide.”

This year’s theme is “investing in the future,” with an emphasis on what the organizations do for children.

The organizations that will benefit from donations this year are The Salvation Army of Tyler, the East Texas Food Bank, People Attempting to Help, The First Tee of Greater Tyler, the Literacy Council of Tyler and the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas.

Clyde noted that with an overhead cost of only 1 percent through the East Texas Communities Foundation, the Shine Your Light campaign is one of the most effective ways for residents to make their year-end giving.

The annual community campaign has raised nearly $1 million for different nonprofits since its beginning in 2008.

“My wife and I have a heart for helping good organizations that are helping people,” said Herb Buie, one of the matching donors. “We think it’s a really good thing to support these organizations that are helping those who truly can’t afford to help themselves. We believe strongly in giving back to the community.”

This year’s matching donors are giving a total of $75,000. The donors are the Niblack Charitable Fund, Terry and Dennis Darryl, Mayor Barbara and Billy Bass, Herb and Melvina Buie, Harold and Rosemary Beaird, Citizens 1st Bank, Southside Bank, the Clements Family Foundation, the Tyler Morning Telegraph and an anonymous donor.

“Rosemary and I give to Shine Your Light because a gift to this effort is a gift to six agencies,” Beaird said. “Tyler is a generous town and is aware of the good work being done by these organizations. A gift here is much like giving to a neighbor in need.”