In less than 48 hours, thousands of individual donors contributed more than $100,000 to Friends of the Smokies in support of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on #GivingTuesday. One hundred percent of these donations will help meet the greatest needs of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, beginning immediately with emergency relief efforts related to the recent wildfires.
“We are truly humbled by the outpouring of support for our park,” said Jim Hart, president. “Donors came forward in record numbers, from right here in east Tennessee and as far away as Sweden, all looking for ways to help the park they love.”
Friends of the Smokies’ corporate partners answered the call as well. Scripps Networks is donating a total of $100,000 for wildfire relief to four area nonprofits, including Friends of the Smokies. On top of this generous gift, Scripps Networks has pledged to match its employees’ donations to Friends of the Smokies.
Mast General Store, Patagonia, and Travelers Insurance had already agreed to match up to $15,000 in #GivingTuesday gifts, and every dollar of these donations will continue to be used to support the park. #GivingTuesday is a globally-recognized day inspiring people to donate to nonprofit organizations in their communities. Friends of the Smokies has participated in this effort each year since 2013.
“We want people to know that they can still give to Friends of the Smokies. Right now the need is maybe the greatest it has ever been,” said Marketing Director Brent McDaniel.
Donations can be made online at www.friendsofthesmokies.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/smokiesfriends, by phone to 865-932-4794 or 828-452-0720, or by mail to Friends of the Smokies, P.O. Box 1660, Kodak, TN 37764.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited park in the nation, receiving 10 million visitors annually. Friends of the Smokies gives more than $1 million each year to fund critical projects and programs including wildlife management, historic preservation, and the Parks as Classrooms program. At the Park’s request, Friends can also raise funds for emergency efforts like this unprecedented fire response. For more information, please visit www.friendsofthesmokies.org.
Photo: National Park Service