Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger has agreed to be slimed by the children of Bethel Bible Village if the nonprofit reaches its goal of raising $17,000 by "Giving Tuesday," Nov. 28.
Confident the goal will be reached, Coppinger has already set a public sliming date of Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. at Northgate Mall.
Coming on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday encourages people around the world to switch their focus from consumerism to charity. Bethel Bible Village provides care for children who have fallen victim to poor home circumstances such as neglect, violence or adult drug addiction.
"We want to encourage people to give online and they can do that by going to our website," said Bethel Director of Development Kim Shumpert.
Bethel Bible Village is also hosting a #GivingTuesday event at its Hixson campus Nov. 28 from 3-6 p.m. in a final push to meet the fundraising goal. The event will not only offer the public a chance to tour the campus, but will also offer festive activities: the opportunity to make Christmas ornaments, decorate sugar cookies — and make the slime that will be used on the mayor several days later.
"Our kids are enjoying being a big part of this day, and the idea of sliming the mayor is fun to them," Shumpert said.
This is Bethel's largest Giving Tuesday goal to date. In 2015, the nonprofit set a goal of $3,000. In 2016, it was $10,000. Meeting both of those, they decided to set this year's at $17,000. Coppinger has participated in a variety of ways, including dressing up as a superhero for the organization's video segments encouraging viewers to "be a hero" by helping to support the organization, which has helped get the word out to more people.
"He's been a great supporter of ours for a lot of years," Shumpert said. "You just won't find a man with a bigger heart for making sure kids in his community are taken care of."
Several local restaurants have also agreed to donate a percentage of sales made during dining hours on Giving Tuesday toward Bethel's $17,000 goal. Those restaurants are El Meson's Hixson location, Fiamma Pizza on North Market Street, Five Guys Burgers and Fries' Hixson, East Brainerd and downtown locations, and Mimi's on Hixson Pike.
Video reviews by the children at Bethel for each of the restaurants, along with more information on the #GivingTuesday event, are available at bethelbiblevillage.org/givingtuesday. The site also offers a secure portal for donations.
"We recently asked our kids what they are most thankful for, and many of them said that they are thankful to all of the people who help support Bethel," said Shumpert.
Bethel is located at 3001 Hamill Road and can be reached at 842-5757.