Raise the Region: Big hearts, correct causes, worth million

If generosity is the mark of a strong region, this is definitely a strong region.

The second Raise the Region fundraising effort recently brought $1,002,673 to registered nonprofits from Lycoming, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties in 30 hours.

The event is an online-only giving blitz that allows people to give with the touch of a computer to registered groups in the area that answer a broad array of causes. There were 212 registered groups this year.

The event’s website was viewed more than 20,000 times during the 30-hour period, a gauge of just how strongly people feel about giving in this region.

Jennifer Wilson, president and CEO of the First Community Foundation Partnership, organizers of the event for the second year, said the large giving amount speaks to the public confidence in nonprofits in the communities of the region.

That’s very true.

But it also speaks to the region’s heart, which beats 365 days a year. People locally support the annual Lycoming County United Way fund drive, numerous independent capital campaigns of different nonprofits every year and large building fund drives of organizations such as the YMCA and Susquehanna Health.

In a region where economic challenges are a given, it’s hard to calculate just where all the money comes from.

The math doesn’t seem to work.

Until you factor in the heart.