VALPARAISO | More than $200,000 was donated Thursday to Porter County organizations that deal with youths in a one-day online and in-person fundraising blitz.
"Point. Click. Give." is the theme of the second annual Porter County Give Day, sponsored by the Porter County Community Foundation, in partnership with The Times Media Co.
Donations collected Thursday online and in person at The Times' Valparaiso office will benefit 25 participating nonprofit organizations that work to improve literacy, health care, safety and quality of life for Porter County youths.
Donors were logging on just after midnight Thursday morning, hoping to earn their favorite organization one of several hourly incentives.
By late afternoon more than $200,000 was donated through online and walk-in donations and matching gifts to the Porter County Give Day, beating last year's total of $186,000.
Donations are accepted until 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
Children from Hilltop Neighborhood House, one of the groups that will receive donations, visited The Times office to thank the community for giving to the various organizations.
"We have been teaching our kids about the newspaper and what better day to come here for a tour and to thank everyone for Porter County Give Day," said Jennifer Wright, Hilltop CEO.
Paula Nicholson, of Morgan Township, said she was excited to make a donation to Porter County Give Day in The Times office.
"I'm donating to the 4-H and to the Duneland YMCA because my grandson goes to the Y," Nicholson said. "It's great to donate today because there's a matching gift if you donate."
Carol Costakis, community resource director for the Porter County Community Foundation, said there had been a steady flow of people coming through The Times office to make donations.
"We really wanted to exceed last year's goal of $186,000, and we did that," Costakis said. "Many people gave online because they are more comfortable with online giving."
Community Foundation President Barb Young was thrilled they surpassed last year's total.
"This is such a great thing for the community," Young said. "We got together before this and decided to focus on children this year. There are so many agencies who serve kids and this is such a great day."