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Area Nonprofits Counting On North Texas Giving Day Thursday: 'It's Been Challenging'

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Thursday marks the 12th annual North Texas Giving Day, and thousands of nonprofits need support now more than ever.

This year's fundraising effort is even more critical to these organizations to help offset the losses caused by the pandemic.

"Even now that we've reopened, things are still really tough for us," said Melisa Smith, the member annual program manager for the Dallas Zoo.

The Dallas Zoo started the year off strong.

"We were well on our way to have about 1.2 million guests for the year, and then corona happened and everything went to a screeching halt," Smith said.

Closing for months led to staff furloughs and the decision to shut down the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park, which the zoo operates.

The zoo isn't the only North Texas non-profit feeling the pain of the pandemic.

North Texas Nonprofits Meeting More Needs, Need More Help

"It's been challenging for us," said Michael Thomas, executive director of My Possibilities, which provides continued education and therapy for adults with developmental disabilities.

The organization has pivoted to virtual sessions, but the funding's just not there.

"Whether you care about people with disabilities or equity and equal rights issues or animals, everyone is hurting and we all need support," Thomas said.

This year, a record-breaking 3,300 nonprofits have registered to participate in tomorrow's North Texas Giving Day. In 2019, the effort raised $50 million for local charities.

"North Texas Giving Day is the lynch pin of our entire year of fundraising," said Natalie Boyle, CEO and founder of Mommies in Need, which provides free childcare to parents experiencing a health crisis.

The group is about to open a new center at Parkland Hospital in just a few weeks.

"The need for our services has just exponentially increased because more people have their kids at home," said Boyle.

These non-profits are hopeful the community will step up once again, even in these challenging times.

"I think it would speak volumes to North Texas and the culture of giving we have, that we're not going to let something like this stand in our way," Thomas said. "We're going to continue to support the charities we care about."

If you're interested in donating to a North Texas nonprofit, click here.

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