Yampa Valley Gives Day surpasses $1.2 million, with more than 1,800 donors | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Gives Day surpasses $1.2 million, with more than 1,800 donors

Colleen Miller and Angela Shelton with Discovery Learning Center and Sarah Katherman with the Routt County Humane Society wave signs at passing motorists Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 as part of the Yampa Valley Gives Day. Representatives from local organizations braved the cold and snow to remind folks that this is a great time of year to reach out and support local nonprofits and their causes.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Despite an unpredictable economy and rapid inflation, members of the community opened their wallets for Yampa Valley Gives Day on Tuesday, Dec. 6, which brought in $1.27 million to support local nonprofits in Routt and Moffat counties.

While this year saw slightly less money than last year when $1.3 million was raised, the number of donors increased by 11%.

According to the Yampa Valley Community Fund’s Philanthropic Services Manager Holly Wilson, last year there were 1,635 donors compared to 1,819 this year. Wilson said that bodes well for nonprofits in the future, considering so many donors have contributed in multiple years.

“We see a lot of return donors each year,” Wilson said. “I think the community has really embraced Yampa Valley Gives Day, and many people choose to do their annual giving through the program.” 

Acording to Wilson, Colorado Gives Day brought in more than $53 million statewide, and Colorado Gives Day is one of the largest giving movements in the nation. 

Kim Schulz, executive director of Steamboat Reading, said the nonprofit brought in about $11,000 and nearly doubled its total from last year. She said the donations will help fund Steamboat Reading’s scholarship program. 

Schulz said Steamboat Reading has awarded about $22,000 in scholarship money in 2022, which covers 40% to 100% of tutoring costs based on the family’s income. She said in the years she’s worked for the nonprofit, she’s seen the effects of tutoring, not just on children’s ability to read, but their confidence as well. 

Nicole Cox holds a sign for the Boys & Girls Club Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 at the corner of Third Street and Lincoln Avenue to remind passing motorists to give to local nonprofits as part of Yampa Valley Gives Day.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

“They develop a good amount of grit,” Schulz said. “This one thing that they were supposed to do when they were really young, was really hard for them, and they did it and they figured it out.”

Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports also had a strong showing on Yampa Valley Gives Day, which could help complement a winter season that is also being blessed with plenty of snow. 

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The STARS program brought in a little over $27,000 compared to $24,862 last year, according to the program’s Development Director Susan Petersen.

The program helps people with disabilities participate in outdoor recreation such as skiing, cycling, kayaking and more. Petersen said private donations help a lot because they can be used for any purpose, as opposed to grant funding that has restrictions. 

“We feel like we change lives,” Petersen said. 

Petersen added that she also sees Yampa Valley Gives Day as an opportunity for nonprofits to raise awareness for their causes. 

“It really shines a spotlight on how important nonprofits are in our community,” she said. 

Wilson said the incoming donations were a mix and match of large and small donations, and although the window for donating opened on Nov. 1 for the first time, she said most of the donations came in on Yampa Valley Gives Day. 

This was the eighth year Northwest Colorado celebrated Yampa Valley Gives Day and the 13th year for Colorado Gives Day. The donation page is open year-round and people can make contributions at yvgives.org.

Sarah Katherman, right, and Elaine Hicks represented the Routt County Humane Society Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 as part of Yampa Valley Gives Day.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

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