Fresno donors raise more than $1 million to help local non-profits amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds have gone to 20 agencies such as Povorello House, the Central California Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and the Marjaree Mason Center.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The coronavirus has put a heavy strain on our local non-profit agencies.

So many more people are in need.

But a fundraiser set in motion by Fresno Mayor-Elect Jerry Dyer has reached its $1 million goal.

The Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno has seen a spike in domestic violence calls since families began to shelter in place.

The center's main fundraiser was canceled due to the pandemic so a check for $228,000 came at the perfect time.

"It was one of those miraculous moments where it was almost the exact same amount we would have raised from our fundraiser," said the center's executive director Nicole Linder.

Dyer headed the fundraising drive for 20 local non-profits. The 'Give Help Now' month-long effort netted over $1,074,000.

Five anonymous donors provided the seed money.

A group of businesses agreed to match up to $500,000 in donations.

"It gives me goosebumps, quite frankly, to know that 1,000 people in Fresno stepped up to donate during this time of need," said Dyer.

Some Valley families who have never needed assistance have lined up for food giveaways.

The Central California Food Bank received $217,000 in donations

The Fresno Mission was given a check for $212,000.

Poverello House will use its timely donation of $203,000 for food programs and emergency food bags.

"We are utilizing our cash just to meet the need. These are times we were not expecting, we were not budgeting for. We were not fund-raising for, so to see the community come out this way, it means a great deal," said Povorello House CEO Zach Darrah.

A wide variety of local non-profits benefited - from the Salvation Army to St. Rest Baptist Church in west Fresno.

Some agencies received more than others because donors could select where they wanted their money to go.
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