How 1 SA nonprofit spent money raised in Big Give

$4 million raised in May for local nonprofits

SAN ANTONIO – The Big Give, San Antonio's 24-hour fundraiser, raised more than $4 million in May for local nonprofits and the donations are already being put to use.

The Believe It Foundation, for example, is sending kids with disabilities to summer camp in New Braunfels at TBarM camp.

They are able to do so thanks to the generosity of Andrew McAllister.

"I wanted to create an opportunity for physically challenged children to share in the same experiences as I did," said Andrew McAllister, founder of the Believe It Foundation.

McAllister, who was born with cerebral palsy and has poor vision, grew up going to camp. He said it was at TBarM where he gained confidence.

He said his most memorable experience was with his then-instructor who is now a friend.

"He strapped me to his body and I was able to ski in between his skis ... barefoot -- only for 30 seconds, but it was the thrill of my life," McAllister said.

McAllister created the Believe It Foundation in 2008. Since then, he's been sending kids with disabilities to summer camp. It costs the foundation $1,000 per child, and this year, 14 are going to camp.

Samantha Gorzell and Michael Sandoval, both 11, were sponsored to go to camp. They both have cerebral palsy.

"I feel cool," Sandoval said of his experiences at camp.

Both he and Gorzell were able to participate in a range of activities, including climbing a pole.

Camp instructors adjusted how they went up, so her disability didn't keep her from having fun.

Her peers cheered her on as she got ready.

"It's so fun because we get to do wonderful activities," Gorzell said.

They are memories that'll last a lifetime because of McAllister's big heart to serve others.

"He means a lot to me and I thank him for sponsoring me to go to this camp," Gorzell said.

The Big Give San Antonio raised $12,000 for the Believe It Foundation over a 24-hour period.