Each year, thanks to their annual fundraising event, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County is known to grant thousands of dollars to local nonprofits championing various causes. As the pandemic pounded our community, the Club wanted to do something significant to help provide some relief and support to those in greatest of need. The Club’s Charitable Giving Committee went to work to explore what organizations were doing and where their funds could have the greatest impact. Club President, Terry Swaim explained, “We were truly overwhelmed with the level of significant need there was across our community. The pandemic had left a path of destruction unlike anything we had ever seen before. It seemed our giving was just a drop in the bucket compared to the demand our nonprofits were facing. We couldn’t pick just one cause to support.”
That’s why the Club made the strategic decision to gift their funds this year to Gwinnett Cares, powered by the Gwinnett Coalition, and the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. Together, the Coalition and the Foundation have been collaborating since the onset of the pandemic to strategically deploy resources and support to nonprofits across Gwinnett based upon the ever-changing, real-time needs. Swaim explained, “It made the most sense to allow the subject matter experts to take our dollars and distribute them when and where they were needed most. They have served as first-responders for our non-profit agencies on the front lines since day one, providing funding, coordinated response teams, critical communications, supply distribution, and more. We were thrilled to be able to share the proceeds of our 2020 fundraiser to enable them to continue to provide these much-needed services as we move from crisis to relief to recovery.”
The Club’s 2021 fundraiser, a COVID-safe raffle, generated a total of $25,000. The grand prize for the raffle was a $10,000 cash prize, with a $5,000 grant given to the winner’s charity of choice. Ironically, Victoria Huynh, a member of the Coalition board, was the big winner and she so graciously donated the $5,000 to the Gwinnett Coalition.
The Gwinnett Coalition is truly grateful to the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County and Victoria Huynh for their generous donation to our mission as we work to continue to care for our community through COVID-19 and drive collective impact so all Gwinnett residents can thrive.