​The Spoon River College Foundation is pleased to announce that, thanks to the generosity of donors across the SRC district and beyond, its #GivingSPOONday campaign was a huge success, surpassing its goal and raising $61,925 from 338 separate gifts, including all matching funds.

As part of the larger Giving Tuesday movement to create a worldwide day of giving, the SRC Foundation had challenged all friends of SRC to “change lives for good,” and give 300 separate gifts to benefit SRC in the 24-hour period of November 30.

“Our goal this year was a ‘stretch’ goal, so we came right down to the wire, but our supporters came through for our students,” said Colin Davis, Executive Director of the SRC Foundation.  “While SRC students’ need is greater than ever, this proves that they’re not facing their challenges alone.  To see this kind of response when we know how much financial need is out there right now is simply incredible.  We can’t thank our communities enough.”

According to Davis, gifts ranged from $1 to $10,000.  When the matching gifts are removed, the average gift was around $80, and gifts came from 13 states and 74 zip codes.  Gifts came from as far away as Florida, Arizona, and California.

“The appeal of helping students at SRC truly reaches all corners of the country,” said Davis.  “But it’s our communities here in west central Illinois that stepped up for us in the biggest way.”

As always, donors had the option of directing their gifts to be used however they saw fit.  While some directed funds to specific scholarships, facilities, student or community programs, or the Student Emergency Hardship Fund, many donors made unrestricted gifts, which help the Foundation quickly meet the needs of SRC and students as the needs arise.

“With our unrestricted funds, we were able to launch our new Emergency Hardship Fund in the 2020 as a way to help SRC students remain enrolled in classes and on track,” Davis said.  “That has helped us keep as many as 58 students enrolled who otherwise may have been forced to drop out, just since the pandemic began.  That’s the kind of impact our donors can have, even if they just tell us to use the funds where they’re needed most.”

As an added bonus, all donors to #GivingSPOONday received access to a portion of the recent SRC Community Chorus’ production of Silver Songs and Golden Gifts, a recent concert given by the Chorus.

“The SRC Community Chorus, which is celebrating its 16th year and raises money for SRC student scholarships, performed a holiday concert in early December after a year away, but the capacity was greatly reduced,” said Davis.  “Because of the reduction in capacity, people who otherwise attend each year were unable to attend the concert this year.  However, both the Chorus and the Foundation felt that providing holiday cheer is more important than ever this year, so we’re bringing a part of it to them in the safety of their homes, and we’re grateful for the nearly 60 people who gave their time and talent to this project, because it certainly was a big help in our successful campaign.”

People who were unable to participate in #GivingSPOONday but still wish to help local students at SRC by visiting www.src.edu/give or by calling (309) 649-6395.  The college is closed for winter break from Dec. 18 through Jan. 2, but gifts are tax-deductible in 2021 as long as they are postmarked via USPS by December 31.

“The longer the pandemic continues, the more we’ll need to be there for our students.  The generosity of our friends during #GivingSPOONday, no matter how they asked for their gifts to be used, will allow us to meet more and more of those needs.  The beautiful thing about #GivingSPOONday is how everyone, even just by sharing information about the campaign on social media or donating spare change at Hy-Vee, plays a big part.  We thank everyone who helped make the campaign a success.”