Yampa Valley Gives Day sets record with $1.1M in donations
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Yampa Valley Gives Day set a new record for donations Tuesday, with about $1.1 million raised for nonprofits across the Yampa Valley.
In 2019, the fundraising total was $809,000 on the 24-hour day of giving, which Holly Wilson, Yampa Valley Community Foundation office manager, said the group hoped to exceed this year.
“It’s truly so incredible to reach this milestone,” she saidd.
In a year when many people have lost jobs or faced other financial crises, Wilson said those who did have disposable income felt it was all the more important to help where they could.
“The generosity has been incredible throughout the whole year,” she said. “People feel like they want to help in some way, and I think this inspires people to give on this day.”
Nelly Navarro, executive director of Integrated Community, said the organization, which serves the area’s immigrant population, far exceeded the $17,000 it raised last year.
Integrated Community’s success, Navarro said, came in part due to the visibility of immigrants in the community, many of them on the frontlines.
“Immigrants are the backbone of the country. … We can see our clients working in the services areas, and I think that has really shown through this pandemic,” she said. “Some of these people don’t qualify for certain services, so it’s really important to support them because they’re there for us.”
Elaine Hicks, executive director of the Routt County Humane Society, said her organization raised about $56,000, which was considerably more than last year’s fundraising total. She attributed that to people spending more time at home with their pets.
“People love their pets as their family,” she said.
Hicks said she also believed people became more conscious of the need to support nonprofits and small businesses as COVID-19 forced closures and caused job loss across the community.
“This just shows the commitment of the community to ensure their furry friends are also taken care of,” she added.
The Yampa Valley is also home to more than 100 nonprofits, according to Wilson.
“I think this just shows how generous and committed our community is and how dedicated they are to supporting nonprofits,” she said.
Michelle Petix, executive director of Partners in Routt County, said her organization raised $22,661, almost double what they raised last year. Petix said receiving notifications alerting her to more scheduled donations was “super exciting, humbling and relieving.”
Partners in Routt County has seen an increased need since COVID-19 hit the area, which Petix attributes to youth facing more stressors.
“Everyone is stretched thin during COVID,” she said. “Even the most resilient kid is going to feel that.”
Partners was one of 67 nonprofits to receive funding from Yampa Valley Gives Day, which Petix said felt inspiring in a time of darkness.
“You just feel like you’re part of just a really great story,” she said. “And don’t we all need that right now.”
In 2020, Yampa Valley Gives Day saw a total of 5,100 donations, as compared to the 3,657 in 2019.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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