Foon Rhee

For Stephon Clark protestors and the Trump resistance, Big Day of Giving is a big opportunity

Protestors march in downtown Sacramento on April 4 during a Day of Action seeking justice for Stephon Clark.
Protestors march in downtown Sacramento on April 4 during a Day of Action seeking justice for Stephon Clark.

Put your money where your mouth is. That old saying is especially timely for the Sacramento region’s sixth annual Big Day of Giving.

The 24-hour online donation blitz, which starts at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, is a chance for Stephon Clark protestors and anti-Trump resisters to back up their signs and bumper stickers with some cash – and make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors at the same time.


Those marching for economic justice since Clark’s killing – and those who sympathize with them – will likely have a chance to pay higher taxes for the cause in a November ballot measure to invest in poor neighborhoods. But they don’t have to wait. They can give directly now to groups that do good works in these very same neighborhoods.

There’s the ReIMAGINE Mack Road Foundation, which wants to improve safety and boost economic development in the Valley Hi neighborhood. There’s the Franklin Neighborhood Development Corp., which is seeking to improve social services and job access in that area. And there are stalwarts such as Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Meanwhile, proud members of the Resistance to President Trump, the Big Day of Giving is a prime opportunity to help groups fighting his policies. Last year, Meals on Wheels and Planned Parenthood benefited from anti-Trump backlash after they were targeted by his administration.

This year, if you’re appalled by Trump’s Muslim ban, you can give to the Council on American-Islamic Relations Sacramento Valley chapter. If you’re upset by immigration raids, you can donate to the California Rural Assistance Foundation. And if you can’t believe Trump has launched missiles against Syria twice but turned away refugees, you can contribute to Opening Doors, a refugee resettlement agency.

With 587 nonprofits participating this year, there’s a group, or two or three, for every issue you might care about.

Garrett Temple of the Sacramento Kings is setting a generous example. He plans to match as much as $20,000 in donations to St. Hope, which operates Sacramento Charter High in Oak Park, which he adopted as a mentor. St. Hope is trying to raise $50,000 total.

While not many of us can afford to give that much, lots of small contributions can add up fast. Since starting in 2013, the Big Day of Giving ( has raised more than $23 million for local nonprofits and community groups. Last year, it brought in $7.2 million from more than 22,000 donors. Organizers at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation hope to beat those numbers this year.

This year, there’s an added incentive to give – to lower your federal tax bill, if you itemize. The GOP tax cut bill caps itemized deductions for state income taxes and local property taxes at $10,000. The average for Californians who claim those deductions is about $18,000; one way to make up that difference is through higher charitable contributions.

So you can lower your tax bill, power your protests for change and help your own community. Those are three really good reasons to give.

Foon Rhee: 916-321-1913, @foonrhee