Providing financial support: Valley Baptist, AEP among those giving to AIM Charities

HARLINGEN — Two generous business organizations contributed to a local effort that amounted to thousands of dollars being donated to those in need.

More than $80,000 was raised and distributed to 21 Rio Grande Valley nonprofits last week as part of AIM Media Charities.

AEP Texas and Valley Baptist Health Systems were among the local Harlingen businesses that contributed to the latest fundraising efforts.

“In its second year, AIM Charities has established itself as a middle man — bringing together donors and local charitable agencies as both strive to make a difference in the lives of the people in our community,” said Stephan Wingert, Regional Vice President of AIM Media Texas, which owns The Monitor, the Valley Morning Star, the Brownsville Herald and the Mid-Valley Town Crier.

All four newspapers ran a campaign in December and January featuring the charitable organizations and soliciting donations on their behalf.

“AIM Media chose a group of incredible local organizations as recipients of their 2015-2016 Charities Campaign,” said Manny Vela, President/CEO of Valley Baptist Health System. “These organizations work with individuals and families to meet their specific needs, whether it be a meal, a bed to sleep in, or shelter during a crisis.”

Groups like the Boys & Girls Club of Harlingen provide services during childhood, while others, such as Sunshine Haven, offer care to the very end of life.

“The charities selected help provide a safety net for our Valley citizens during their most difficult time. Valley Baptist recognizes and applauds AIM’s commitment to give 100 percent of the funds raised to address local needs, and thank them for allowing us to support this important cause,” Vela said.

The reasons AEP Texas chose to support AIM Charities was very simple for Frank Espinoza, AEP Texas spokesman.

“First, it was aligned during the time of giving (holidays) and helping the less fortunate,” he said. “I trust that through the combined effort, dollars tend to go further for a greater good and this was no exception.”

AIM Charities absorbed all administrative costs related to the fundraising efforts so that 100 percent of the donations made went to a beneficiary agency, Wingert said at a check-distribution ceremony held at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce building.

In two years, Wingert said, AIM Charities has facilitated the raising of more than $190,000 that was then distributed to dozens of nonprofits throughout the Rio Grande Valley.