Letter: Holiday Market transition | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Holiday Market transition

Routt County United Way has been involved with Christmas Wishes, Holiday Wishes and the Holiday Exchange Market for more than 30 years. Our nonprofit community has grown and matured since the beginning of the program to form a safety net of organizations and resources to help anyone in need. In fact, if someone calls us or walks in our door with needs, we can refer them to a host of resources, programs and organizations (we have an entire notebook full of resources) to assist them year-round. This was not always the case, and our community has developed over time to take care of our own.

This is not to say that there are not people or families in need in Routt County. Much of the time, if an agency is working with a family or individual, they will call upon their donors or resources in the community to assist the individuals in need.

In addition to our local nonprofits, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation has giving circles that help individuals and families through agency referrals. United Way has a special needs fund that helps people when there are no other options available. These are only a few of the opportunities available in our very giving community.

With these increased community opportunities in place, Routt County United Way has decided to transition out of hosting the Holiday Exchange Market. Instead, we are focusing on supporting programs that help people year-round, in addition to holiday time. These programs provide assistance that helps individuals and families throughout the year to become stronger and more self-sufficient.

This year, as we begin this transition and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to transition to giving families in need food cards to lighten their load. As we make this transition, we realize that many people would like to continue to give at the holidays and you can access our Gift Giving Guide online at routtcountyunitedway.org/giftgivingguide or at places where you normally would have seen mitten boards.

We hope our community will see this benefit and join us as we continue to strengthen and give to our community together. When we give together, we “live united.”

Kate Nowak

Routt County United Way executive director

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