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Charity group raises money for local businesses

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 6:06 PM CST
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - It’s the season of giving and two women in Dane County are spreading cheer to local businesses, one gift card at a time.

For ten years, Sue Mautz and Jennifer Davenport put on their Santa hats, and collect money for charity during the holiday season.

“With [COVID-19], we were trying to find a different way to give to charities or small businesses,” Mautz said.

In a typical year, Mautz and Davenport pick one or two charities to raise money for, but 2020 is different.

“Everybody knows how much the small businesses, especially restaurants have been hurting this year,” Davenport said.

“We came up with the idea of asking people for donations to buy gift cards,” Mautz added.

So far, the group Holiday Giving has raised more than $1,400 for dozens of businesses in Dane County. Murphy’s Bar and Restaurant in Madison is one of them.

“We’re operating at about 50% right now, which is a big dip,” Murphy’s owner Chad Franklin said.

Franklin said these kinds of donations can get him through tough times.

“Everybody’s go the fear of being able to get through this winter, so anything you can get to pay for supplies or employees now can help,” Franklin said.

“I think they’re just happy to know that we’re going to come back and we’re going to visit them,” Davenport said about the business owners.

Mautz and Davenport know that for small businesses, the most valuable gift isn’t found beneath the tree.

“I think it makes people feel good to give,” Mautz said.

It’s the spirit of giving that will carry them through.

“We have a goal, just to support as many small businesses that we can in the area,” Mautz said.

The Holiday Giving group will continue to collect money for their campaign until Dec. 11. They’ll raffle the gift cards off on Dec. 14.

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