Chabad of Clearwater, Florida, took home first place in a local contest this week, coming ahead of nearly 600 other nonprofits in the greater Tampa Bay area in a bid to win grand prize. The Give Day Tampa Bay Contest is sponsored by USAmeribank, and awards a $7,500 prize to the nonprofit that encourages the most individuals to give charity.
Chabad’s 769 unique donors outnumbered those of any other of the nearly 600 nonprofit organizations that participated in the “small nonprofit” category of the contest, landing them the jackpot.
Rabbi Levi Hodakov, who directs the center with his wife Miriam, was overwhelmed by the response. “Never in my wildest imagination did I think we would have so many donors. I am blown away by the generosity of our community as well as by the hundreds who contributed from around the world.” With donations coming in from as far as Seoul, South Korea, and Thailand, Hodakov’s shoutout to his international supporters was definitely warranted. Also deserving of thanks, he added, is the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, “who presented the contest and secured additional prizes from their sponsors.”
“I know that many gave up their Starbucks lattes to contribute, and we really do appreciate their sacrifice,” Hodakov joked.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, recalls Hodakov, always encouraged the use of modern technology to further the study of Torah and encourage more mitvzot. “What can be a better use of social media than to rally nearly 800 people to give charity?”
The $11,000 raised by the individual donors, plus the additional prize money, goes toward a $1,500,000 building campaign that Chabad is currently running.
The contest launched Tuesday at midnight and continued for 24 hours, and the winner of the “large nonprofit” category was won by kids cancer charity Beat Nb.
To learn more about Chabad of Clearwater, visit www.Clearwaterjewish.com.
For more information about the competition, visit www.GiveDay.org.