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"Give Miami Day" Raises Money For Local Non-Profits

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Okay Miami, it's time to give back.

Thursday is The Miami Foundation's fourth annual "Give Miami Day"; a 24-hour event which ends at midnight that will raise money for more than 600 local non-profit groups.

"The basic idea behind Give Miami Day is to empower everyone in this community to be a philanthropist. We want to give everyone the tools and the ability to contribute philanthropically to the growth of this community," said president and CEO of The Miami Foundation, Javier Alberto Soto.

A minimum donation of $25 can be made at givemiamiday.org and you can choose where you want that donation to go.

Neighbors4Neighbors is one of the many worthy nonprofits participating in the event. Click here for more info.

In 2014, Give Miami Day raised $5.2 million from more than 13,000 donors for 520 nonprofits. This year, with nearly 100 more organizations registered, the foundation hopes to eclipse last year's total.

"Today we are already beating our records. We are three or four hours ahead of where we were last year," said Victoria Fear with The Miami Foundation.

At a makeshift Command Center in Marlins Park, phone bank staffers were busy making sure the entire web-based operation runs smoothly. This year's event, which started at midnight, had already raised more than $ 2 million before 10 a.m.

As part of the day's events, there will be a free Community Block Party and concert at Marlins Park from 5 to 8 p.m, featuring kids' games, food trucks and nonprofit exhibits.

Nonprofits are also eligible to receive fundraising prizes sponsored by the Marlins Foundation, such as the $1,000 Ichiro's Prize for the organization that receives the 4,213th gift, in celebration of Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki's 4,213 all-time professional career hits. Prizes range from $500 to $1,500.

The Knight Foundation, Stearns Weaver Miller, Health Foundation of South Florida, The William R. Watts Foundation and Mitchell Wolfson, Sr. Foundation and other supporters have contributed to a pool for Give Miami Day that will maximize the community's generosity and make a bonus gift to nonprofits for every dollar raised on Give Miami Day.

Organizers hope to top last year's total.

"This year we are gunning for $7 million and I know given the deep generosity that exists in this community, we are going to get there," Soto said.

Almost $10 million dollars has been raised during Give Miami Days since 2012, annually setting a record for the most active 24 hours of charitable giving in Florida history.

Interested donors can learn more at givemiamiday.org.

If you want to go to the Community Block Party, you can RSVP at miamifoundation.org/rsvp.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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