GREEN BAY, Wis. — You could feel the excitement in the air Wednesday at Lambeau Field as leaders with the Packers, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the local nonprofits they chose to receive donations gathered for the noon kickoff of the 2nd annual Give BIG Green Bay 24 hour online giving event.
When the countdown clock hit zero, the donations started pouring in.
"I think this has the opportunity to really be a difference maker in our community here," said Mark Murphy, Packers President and CEO.
People visited the Lambeau Field atrium throughout the day to donate in person. Other donors went to the Give BIG Green Bay website to give online.
"We, the first hour in, met our $12,000 goal so we were at $6,000 the first hour in. There's no way we could've done that on our own," said Hands On Deck President, Mark Hawkins.
Many of the nonprofits held special events to showcase their work during Give BIG Green Bay. At Hands on Deck, they built a boat. Over at Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary, people could spend an hour with the animals and post photos on social media to drum up donations.
"People of Green Bay are very giving and very generous, so everybody's been happy to help," volunteer Mark Smolik said.
At the Volunteer Center of Brown County, they're offering a scoop of cookie dough as an incentive to meet their goal of signing-up 24 new volunteers in 24 hours.
"We are a smaller nonprofit and a smaller outfit than maybe some of the other nonprofits that have been selected, so for us it's really about making people aware of our mission to help recruit and retain volunteers for nonprofits in the area," explained Executive Director Eric Sponholtz.
The forty nonprofits chosen, like Foundations Health & Wholeness, cover 11 different causes in Brown County.
"There's just a lot of individuals that can't afford crucial mental health care that they need, and so organizations such as ours are willing to fill in that gap," said Ryan Good, President and CEO of Foundations Health & Wholeness.
Wello's mission is health and wellness.
Executive Director Natalie Bomstead said, "You know if you're passionate about health, you're passionate about well being of our community. We're asking you to join us in creating some lasting impact."
All it takes is a click of your mouse.
"It's about community pride. "It's about coming together and taking care of each other, and I don't know if you could find anything more special than that," said Dennis Buehler, President and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation.
This is a friendly competition between the nonprofits. The Green Bay Packers Foundation is offering a $250,000 matching grant to help every dollar you donate go even further.
Give BIG Green Bay runs from noon on February 20th to noon on Feburary 21st.