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A Give NOLA Day T-shirt is seen in the 'war room' at the Greater New Orleans Foundation office in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

What with the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic shutdown, as well as the cancellation of the public, festive portion of New Orleans’ yearly celebration of charitable giving, it would have been perfectly understandable had this year’s GiveNOLA Day been a diminished version of itself.

Yet the opposite happened. By the time the clock struck midnight on June 2, the event had set a record, with more than $7.1 million raised for 835 nonprofits. The previous record, set in 2019, was $5.9 million.

Millions raised for nonprofits in 13 New Orleans area parishes during GiveNOLA Day

"The people of the Greater New Orleans region know what it is like to face tough times and how to step up in a crisis," said Andy Kopplin, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, which spearheads GiveNOLA Day. "Our people are unmatched in their generosity and caring for one another."

The money will go to help people in need, support important causes and throw lifelines to beloved institutions that had to unexpectedly close their doors. A number of organizations exceeded their fundraising goals, and some took the opportunity to redirect their regular donors to other groups run by African Americans or doing important and timely work on racial justice.

With everything else going on, people could have been forgiven for seeing this as the wrong time to open their wallets and think about giving back.

Instead, they understood that was exactly the right time.