2018 MyGivingStory Winners

Every act of giving has a story. What's yours?

#MyGivingStory is a social media storytelling contest created to foster a public conversation about giving and to inspire more people to give. Throughout November 2018, 2,000+ stories were shared about how and why people give to the causes they care about.

We were so inspired by your stories, which celebrated the many ways people give back. From volunteering to donating money to helping a neighbor, your stories demonstrated the many ways people can have an impact. Thank you for sharing how and why you give!

The public voted for their favorite stories and the top 20 were sent to a panel of judges to award the Grand Prizes. Watch this space as we announce the contest winners the week of December 17.

1st Place

Marie Smith will receive $10,000 for KultureCity

Marie Smith of Alabama shared her family’s experience with KultureCity, an organization that works to find and create sensory inclusive spaces where people with sensory sensitivities, like Marie’s son Jake, can access concerts and other cultural activities in their own communities. 

2nd Place

Judy Fridono will receive $5,000 for Puppy Prodigies.

Judy Fridono of the Southern California-based Puppy Prodigies explains how they bring kids with disabilities, veterans suffering from PTSD and surf dog Ricochet together to harness the healing power of the ocean.

3rd Place

Heather Starbuck will receive $2,500 for the Matt Adams Foundation.  

After losing her fiance to opioid addiction, Heather Starbuck of Colorado spent six months hiking the Appalachian Trail to share his story and founded the Matt Adams Foundation to raise funds for rehabilitation and transitional programs.

Yo Dono Porque Winners

These Spanish-language entries will win $2,500 for their chosen nonprofit organization.

Un Lugar Cálido Para los Necesitados/ A Warm Place for Those in Need

Augusto Galeno shares the story of Hooch, Bristol, Tank and Cherry’s medical struggles and the Delaware organization that took them on, Grass Roots Rescue.

Los Tipos de Generosidad/ Different Kinds of Generosity

Erica Duncan shares how she and other volunteers rehab homes for residents of Middle Georgia who cannot afford to do so themselves thanks to the Fuller Center for Housing.

Honorable Mentions

This year's honorable mentions will each receive $1,000 for their chosen nonprofit. 

A Couponer’s Pantry

Stephanie Faison shares how she transformed her couponing obsession into a pantry, Couponing for a Cause, that serves her Virginia community.

When You Can, Do

Crystal Stone’s own family history of extreme poverty inspires her work with the Massachusetts-based Katie Brown Educational Program to prevent relationship violence, as well as her support of other local organizations.

My Dad, My Greatest Inspiration

Alejandra Acala draws inspiration from her dad, whose photography hobby evolved into Home Storytellers, an organization that sends photographers and filmmakers around the world to document sustainable solutions to the migration crisis. 

Most-Nominated Nonprofits

We'd also like to recognize our four "Most Popular Nonprofit" prize winners: Excellence in Learning Community Co-op, Harley's Dream, The Advocacy Project, Live Arts Theatre, and Grass Roots Rescue. Congrats!

2018 #MyGivingStory Finalists

"Monkey's House" by Terry Flannery

"Mountains for Matt" by Heather Starbuck

"One Day" by Laura Gilkey

"Lions, Tigers + Babies" by Katie Nikic

"Angel of Mercy" by Debbie Wass

"The Cats Nobody Wants" by Katherine Hilton

"Waves of Empowerment" by Judy Fridono

"For the Love of Life" by Debra Spagnola

"Grief Support" by Cheryl Juaire

"Miles for Maji" by Cassi Mackey

"My Aunt's Wish" by Marina Ouano

"Robbie + Shadow" by Robert Miller

"Giving from the Heart" by Sherry Peters

"Soft Landings" by Annette Howlett

"Lyme Warrior" by Eric Canfield

"Saving Shadow" by Cecilia Spero

"Moving Forward" by Kendra Booth

"Keeping a Promise" by Ted Koran

"Alec's Gift" by Gretchen Catherwood

Inclusion is Connection by Marie Smith

Yo Dono Porque Finalists

The following Spanish-language stories are finalists for the Yo Dono Porque contest

"Una Lucha Dura" by Mercedes Cruz


"Uniendo personas

by Virginia Soliz

"Operation Pets Alive!

by Elizabeth Guillot

"Los Tipos de Generosidad" by Erica Duncan

"Un Lugar Cálido" Augusto Galeno


2018 Judges

We are so grateful for the support and advice from our 2018 judges:

  • Jimmie Briggs, documentary storyteller, writer, and advocate for racial and gender equity.
  • Hafizah Geter, editor, Little A from Amazon Publishing
  • Beth Kanter, internationally recognized thought leader
  • Katie Leonberger, President and CEO, Community Resource Exchange (CRE)
  • Elisha Palmer, Co-Founder, Knox Blocks Foundation and 2017 #MyGivingStory contest winner
  • Gina Reider, Sabish Elf Project Leader and 2017 #MyGivingStory First Place Prize Winner
  • Raquel Salas Rivera, 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia
  • Mary Alice Stephenson, Founder, Glam4Good
  • Abby Graf Subak Director of Organizing, Idealist
  • Dini von Mueffling, Founder, Dini von Mueffling Communications (DVMC)

If you have questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out to mygivingstory@givingtuesday.org.