Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth began an online campaign Monday, called SOMC’s Community Valentine, allowing visitors on their Facebook page to vote how the hospital will divide a $10,000 donation between five local charities.
“We’ve been doing this for decades. We have a pretty big budget for philanthropy for our community. This is just a different avenue to get people involved,” said SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett. “We’ve always had a lot of people involved on the hospital side to pick the charities. This time we thought we’d ask the people of the community to help us pick it.”
No matter what, SOMC will donate $10,000 between the five charities — The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, Scioto County 4-H, Sierra’s Haven, Stepping Stone House, and The Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.
“They’re very diverse (charities), and they benefit our community, every one of them. They’re very popular with everything else they do, they’re very popular with things we’ve raised money for in the past,” Arnett said.
The charities will each receive a percentage of donation equal to the percentage of votes it gets on the SOMC Facebook page. For example, if one charity earns 25 percent of the vote, they will receive 25 percent of the donation. The more votes a charity receives, the higher percentage of the donation they will get. The voting ends at noon on Feb. 14 and the donations will be presented at a later date.
“Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money but it’s not all the money we give out every year. This is the first time we’re going to give out through Facebook,” Arnett said.
According to SOMC, the hospital has donated more than $87,000 since June of 2012 to support local charities and organizations. Some recipients of SOMC’s recent donationshave included the 14th Street Community Center, the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, Cirque D’Art, River Days, the Scioto County Agricultural Society, Portsmouth City Health Department, SOPAA, American Cancer Society, Southern Ohio Museum, and local school districts.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.