September 27th, 2019
“Greenville Gives” back to the community
TUES. | 12-14-21 | NEWS
Greenville Gives is an annual holiday event that occurred on Friday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Five Points Plaza in Uptown Greenville. Along with scheduled activities for participants, such as meeting Santa, roasting marshmallows and carriage rides, this event focuses on local businesses and non-profit organizations.
“Greenville Gives will kick off the holiday season by providing opportunities to give back to non-profit organizations and will highlight local artists and vendors during the annual Holiday Market,” Events and Branding Director for Uptown Greenville Courtnee McGrath said.
McGrath has been involved with Uptown Greenville since 2019 and has recently been appointed as the Events and Branding Director in March of 2021. She now has a key position in the organization of Uptown Greenville
Photo by Savannah Jones
events, such as the Greenville Gives holiday celebration.
“My role is to help plan and execute this event with our co-hosts,” McGrath said.
Greenville Gives has taken place for nearly ten years in Uptown Greenville and was created as a function that would benefit the local organizations and charities that provide for our community such as the Salvation Army through Greenville Fire and Rescue, Operation Santa Claus, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, the Pet Food Pantry and Greene Lamp Community Action (supporting JOY Soup Kitchen and Community Crossroads). These organizations can receive paper products, dental hygiene items, small bath essentials, non-perishable foods, cat and dog food, adult hygiene items, socks, gloves, winter hats and toys.
“This event started because the lighting of the city's holiday tree was brief,” McGrath said. “It had the potential to be expanded to a community showcase which is why there are nonprofits, community performances and a holiday market.”
During the event, the entire community is invited to donate to a variety of local charities, participate in snacking activities, take a ride in a carriage around the Uptown District and much more.
“This year's event includes the tree lighting, reading of the Christmas story and messages from participating non-profits,” McGrath said.
Through the attendance of an expected 1,500 community members, non-profit organizations were able to showcase their cause to a large crowd and reach out to the community to gain support for their movements.
“This benefits the nonprofits because the nature of the event is to give back,” McGrath said. “People donate goods to the nonprofits and create community exposure.”
Along with the benefit of non-profit organization exposure, there is also an annual Holiday Market.
“There are many local artists and vendors that attend Greenville Gives and participate in our Holiday Market,” McGrath said.
Although COVID-19 has altered and postponed many events, the Greenville Gives holiday celebration does not plan to majorly change the structure of the event and is prepared for a similar number of participants from previous years.
“We [expected] there to be a similar crowd as years past,'' McGrath said. “We… also expanded our event map to allow social distancing.”