The season of giving has arrived.

Dec. 6 was Colorado Gives Day. On the first Tuesday of December, since 2010, Colorado Gives Day has grown to be Colorado’s largest 24-hour giving event, raising more than $362 million for nonprofits across the state since it began, states ColoradoGives.org.

And the Tuesday before that, Nov. 29, was Giving Tuesday, “a global day of generosity,” to remind us to think of others during this time of year. Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been set aside for “radical acts of generosity.” Since its inception, the movement not only raised billions of dollars for nonprofits across the spectrum, it has served as a catalyst for people all around the world to do good.

Notably, Giving Tuesday raised more than $115,000 for a local effort, the Empty Stocking Fund, this year.

And ESF would benefit from your generosity as well.

ESF is a program affiliated under Gazette Charities Foundation that was started in 1984. That year, following the publication of a news article detailing one local family’s need during the holidays, ESF raised over $40,000 in cash and goods, and was able to provide assistance to 27 families in the region.

“Ten years later, the campaign shifted to a community fundraiser for nonprofits in the Pikes Peak Region. Now, the Gazette Charities Foundation-El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund provides funding to 20 local health and human service agencies in El Paso and Teller Counties on the front lines of helping people in crisis and assisting others in attaining self-sufficiency,” states emptystockingfundco.org.

Now in its 39th year, the Empty Stocking Fund has grown to benefit 20 health and human service agencies in the Pikes Peak region that are on the front lines of helping people in crisis and assisting others in attaining self-sufficiency.

A single donation to ESF can have a wide-ranging impact in the region. In 2021, the fund raised more than $1.7 million from more than 2,380 individual donors — breaking all previous records — helping countless families in need. ESF has raised more than $26 million since its inception.

Your donation this will help 20 agencies in the Pikes Peak region. They are:

American Red Cross Southeastern Colorado

Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado

Catholic Charities of Central Colorado

CPCD...giving children a headstart

Griffith Centers for ChildrenChins Up

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains

Mercy’s Gate

Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Partners in Housing

Peak Vista Community Health Partners

Pikes Peak Hospice &Palliative Care

The Place

Silver Key Senior Services

TESSA

The Resource Exchange

The Salvation Army

Tri-Lakes Cares

Westside CARES

YMCA

100% of donations go directly to these 20 health and human service agencies, as all administrative and operating costs are covered by funding partners The Anschutz Foundation, Tribune sister paper The Gazette, Gazette Charities Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and Add Staff.

Every dollar donated to Empty Stocking Fund grows up to 43.5% through matching grants. El Pomar Foundation matches $1 for every $3 raised up to $200,000 and The Bruni Foundation matches $1 for every $10 raised up to $70,000.

How can you make a tax-deductible donation?

Visit the website, EmptyStockingFundCO.org/donate, to make a credit card or PayPal donation.

Here’s another way to help: ESF is also part of King Soopers Community Rewards. You can link Gazette Charities Foundation to your King Soopers account, and they will receive a donation every time you shop.

Simply add Gazette Charities Foundation, Organization No. SH928 to your rewards account benefit Empty Stocking Fund. For instructions, visit www.KingSoopers.com/communityrewards.

Similarly, you can choose Gazette Charities to receive donations when you shop online at Amazon.com by making that designation at smile.amazon.com.

Additionally, $1 from sales of sixpacks of FH Beerworks’ Blackberry Paws (at the Colorado Springs brewery or a local liquor store) is donated to Empty Stocking Fund.

So many ways to help!

Courier Editor Michelle Karas has called the Pikes Peak region home since 2015. Contact her at michelle.karas@pikespeaknewspapers.com.

Editor, Pikes Peak Newspapers

Michelle has been editor of Pikes Peak Newspapers (Pikes Peak Courier and Tri-Lakes Tribune) since June 2019. A Pennsylvania native and Penn State journalism graduate, she joined The Gazette's staff in 2015.

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