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May 17, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Seattle gives big

Edgar Martinez and his wife Holli started the Martinez Foundation to improve diversity among teachers.  Photo: John Lok/The Seattle Times

Edgar Martinez and his wife Holli started the Martinez Foundation to improve teacher diversity in public schools.
Photo: John Lok/The Seattle Times

The totals are in and the Seattle Foundation reports a 50 percent jump in contributions from its single-day online fundraising event, GiveBig.  The May 15th campaign brought in $11.1 million in online contributions. We encouraged Seattleites to give big in this editorial. Time to cheer the 54,500 who dug deep in their pockets and did so.

Seattle has one of the largest nonprofit communities in the nation. More than 1,400 participated in the social-media-fueled philanthropy marathon. A Times op-ed questioned whether GiveBig is getting, well, too big. A fair question, but one that does not detract from the power of the annual campaign.

The money will be put to good use. At the Martinez Foundation, launched by retired Seattle Mariners slugger Edgar Martinez and his wife, Holli, the $64,000 raised will help support minorities who want to become teachers and provide current minority teachers with critical supports. Research points to a link between teacher diversity and minority-student achievement.

The $15,000 raised by Reel Grrls will bolster the media and technology-training program’s efforts working with girls ages 9 to 19. GiveBig gave a huge boost to educational programs, for example the Technology Access Foundation, which operates a school in the Federal Way School District emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math.

Here’s some interesting facts from this week’s GiveBig campaign: The five nonprofits receiving the most money were: Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest ($220,120), The Seattle Public Library Foundation ($194,012), Northwest Harvest ($176,324), Edmonds Center for the Arts ($164,321) and The 5th Avenue Theatre ($159,915).

This region is driven by technology and a generous populace. Kudos to the Seattle Foundation for joining the two in a successful fundraising campaign.

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