As the holiday season draws near, this time of year is often filled with gratitude, reflection, and giving. Within the month of November alone, we celebrate Giving Tuesday, World Kindness Day, National Philanthropy Day and of course, Thanksgiving. It is also quite fitting that National Community Foundation Week takes place this time of year, uplifting the great contributions being made all over the country to improve our communities, one person and one project at a time.

For the past few years, the Marietta Community Foundation has celebrated National Community Week with a week-long Facebook photo contest for local non-profits: the Grant Your Grant Challenge. Local nonprofit organizations that hold an Agency Fund with the Foundation are invited to submit photos that respond to a theme and best represent the mission of the organization. This year’s theme was Reflecting the Past, Celebrating the Present; eligible nonprofits were asked to submit two photos that captured the essence of how their organization has evolved over time. The community can vote by “liking” the photos in the Foundation’s Facebook photo album to support the nonprofits of their choosing between November 12th and November 18th. The photos with the most votes will win additional funding for a few lucky nonprofits.

The Grant Your Grant Challenge is made possible through the generous donations of local partners. This year’s lead sponsor Superior Toyota Hyundai donated a matching grant of $10,000 towards this contest, which was matched by donations from Artex Oil Company and private donors for a total pot of $20,000. Contest winners will be announced on Monday, November 20th, and will each receive a portion of the matched funds.

As you scroll through the photo album, you’ll see a wide variety of nonprofits making a difference right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, Habitat for Humanity, Ely-Chapman Education Foundation, Harvest of Hope, Marietta Main Street, and the O’Neill Center are among the eligible, along with twenty-one others. There is no wrong choice. Every organization has an important mission it is working to fulfill for our community, and every organization could certainly use the additional funds.

While a few participants have already collected more than 500 likes apiece, there is still time for others to take back the lead. Final vote counts will not be tallied up until midnight this Saturday, which means that it’s still anyone’s game. If you really want to make sure that your favorite nonprofit is able to carry out their mission, however, you can always make a donation to that organization’s fund at the Marietta Community Foundation.

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