Sometimes it’s the simple things that keep people going.
A ride to a doctor’s appointment. Money for a utility bill when things are tight. Food to get through the weekend.
The dimes and dollars collected from Pikes Peak region residents during the annual Gazette/El Pomar Empty Stocking Fund campaign cover such needs. Now in its 29th year, the fund has raised more than $12.64 million for the community. This year’s goal is $1 million.
The lives of thousands of people have been touched by the work of the 15 charities that receive all of the money raised in the campaign — fundraising costs are covered by The Gazette and the El Pomar Foundation.
“It’s a major way for us to help the community, to raise money for the community,” said Gazette Publisher Dan Steever. “We have a lot of people working a lot of hours on the Empty Stocking Fund.”
The theme of the campaign, Every One Counts, emphasizes the needs of all and the donations of all. A few dollars can help the Care and Share Food Bank feed a family of four for a week, for example.
And smaller donations multiply with the help of matching grants.
The Bruni Foundation kicks in $10,000 for every $100,000 raised, and the El Pomar Foundation contributes $1 for every $3 raised.
“The generosity of the Pikes Peak region, as seen through the growth of the Empty Stocking Fund, is inspiring,” said William J. Hybl, chairman and CEO of the El Pomar Foundation. “After the year of hardships this area faced, it’s encouraging to know that this community always finds a way to support our neighbors most in need.”
Numerous other businesses and organizations have partnered with the campaign, and plan fundraising events, including the popular Wednesday night Fill Up for the Empty Stocking Fund events at several restaurants. For an up-to-date list of events planned throughout the campaign, visit www.FillAnEmptyStocking.org.
The work of the recipient agencies will be featured in articles in The Gazette throughout the campaign, beginning Friday. You’ll learn how agencies such as Silver Key and Partners in Housing have eased hardships and encouraged people to keep going.
The campaign, which concludes in early January, has added a new way to give this year: texting donations. You can contribute $10 by texting STOCKING to 50555. You’ll get a response to confirm the donation.
Steever said The Gazette’s commitment to the campaign remains strong.
“The Empty Stocking Fund is the biggest community event of the year at The Gazette,” he said. “Every donation, regardless of how big or small, can help people in our community who are in need.”
Contact Sue McMillin: 636-0251 Twitter @suemcmillin Facebook Gazette Sue McMillin