On Yampa Valley Gives Day, what do local nonprofits need? | CraigDailyPress.com

On Yampa Valley Gives Day, what do local nonprofits need?

Representatives of several local nonprofits gather in preparation of Yampa Valley Gives Day, which is Dec. 7, on the national Giving Tuesday in front of the Moffat County Courthouse.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Today, about a dozen nonprofit organizations operating in Moffat County are hoping residents of the region find it in their hearts to help them do the good that they do.

Yampa Valley Gives Day will see at least 12 charitable organizations either based on operating within the county asking donors to open up the checkbooks and fund their critical work.

Some of those groups, as detailed in this possibly non-exhaustive list, are as follows:

  • The Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Colorado
  • CNCC Foundation
  • The Community Budget Center
  • Connections 4 Kids
  • Horizon Specialized Services
  • Moffat County United Way
  • Northwest Colorado Center for Independence
  • Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership
  • Northwest Colorado Health
  • R.E.P.S: Reaching Everyone, Preventing Suicide
  • Hope Pregnancy Center
  • Humane Society of Moffat County

“The big thing is for (donors) to go to the site (https://www.coloradogives.org/YampaValleyGives/) and support it,” said Kristen Olson, executive director of Moffat County United Way. “That’s the push, the financial contribution today. But so many agencies can really use support across the board.”

Financial donations are at the top of every group’s wish list, but there are some that can accept in-kind donations or volunteer assistance, too.

“For (today), there’s a boost in any donation we get on that day,” said Sue Samaniego, director of the CNCC Foundation. “We’re typically looking at three different categories, the first being scholarship — the matching Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative we have to match up to about $20,000 in scholarship funds for them to give us that much, and we get that from Moffat County and Rio Blanco donors.”

CNCC Foundation also raises funds for innovations in the workforce and college advancement, Samaniego said.

“We’ve had each year a $5,000 dollar goal (for Yampa Valley Gives Day), but it hasn’t been one we’ve hit quite yet, though we’ve come close,” she said. “Any opportunity to bring philanthropy to the public is one we want to be a part of.”

Horizon Specialized Services, which operates group homes in the region for those with cognitive disabilities and developmental delays, loves to accept volunteer hours, but struggles to create opportunities for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. In-kind donations, including Christmas gifts for residents and the like, are appreciated, and monetary donations are as critical as anything.

“Something people don’t know often is we are partially covered by Medicaid,” said Elizabeth Skudneski, a spokesperson for the organization. “But that only covers up to 73% of the cost. I like to imagine having 73% of a bed or a meal or a car. Life is not the same when it’s only 73%, so a lot of the last portion is covered by donations. That increases quality of life for our people.”

Horizon sets a $10,000 goal for the day, and Skudneski said Monday that they were already about 40% there.

“I’m feeling good about (Tuesday), hoping to raise another $6,000 at least,” she said.

For the United Way, which has its own programming but also is a major funding source in itself for many of these organizations and others, donations are critical this time of year. But there’s more they hope to accomplish on Yampa Valley Gives Day.

“We’re always trying to reach people in our community so they know about the important work that we and partner nonprofits are doing locally,” Olson said. “Even if it’s just people learning about us, that’s what’s most important. If they understand the impact United Way has on our community and how many people it reaches, how many people it impacts because of those relationships we have with partner agencies, that’s important.”

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