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Northern Colorado once again answered the call to help its neighbors in need by raising $90,514 to support the Northern Colorado Empty Stocking Fund (NCESF). In its fifth year, the NCESF received $67,887 in community donations, which was matched with $22,627 by El Pomar Foundation’s North Regional Council. This year, over 325 individual donors and over 25 corporate partners participated in the campaign.
The Northern Colorado Empty Stocking Fund supports eight health and human service agencies in Larimer and Weld counties. This year, the following recipient agencies received funds from the campaign: Catholic Charities of Larimer County, $13,577; Catholic Charities of Weld County, $13,577; Connections for Independent Living, $9,051; Crossroads Ministry of Estes Park, $9,051; Food Bank for Larimer County, $13,577; Greeley Transitional House, $9,051; House of Neighborly Service, $9,051; and Weld Food Bank, $13,577. Since its inception in 2007, the Northern Colorado Empty Stocking Fund has raised over $423,500.
“The campaign fulfills an extremely important role in our community by helping those desperately in need of food, shelter and other basic necessities,” said Dr. Ginny Kinnick, El Pomar North Regional Council member and professor emeritus at the University of Northern Colorado. “The campaign also unites Larimer and Weld counties through a shared desire to make a positive impact on our communities.”
Each year media outlets from across northern Colorado help to raise awareness for the campaign by publishing and airing stories about the impact of each recipient nonprofit organization. This year, the campaign formed a unique media partnership with journalism students from the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University. The students conducted interviews and wrote stories about the work of the organizations that were then published by newspapers and other media outlets. Nearly all of the stories illustrating the impact of the campaign were written by students.
“The media awareness is one of the key benefits the Food Bank receives from the Empty Stocking Fund; it gives potential donors the opportunity to see what the face of hunger looks like and breaks the myth of ‘that could never be me’,” said Amy Pezzani, executive director of the Food Bank for Larimer County.
The 2012 media partners include: A-Train Marketing, the Coloradoan Media Group, Clear Channel, the Estes Park Trail-Gazette, KUNC, Light Speed Color, Loveland Reporter-Herald, Next Media, NoCo5, North Forty News, the Berthoud Surveyor, Greeley Tribune, and Townsquare Media.
Additionally, four local restaurants donated a percentage of their sales in support of the campaign. Kenny’s Steak House in Greeley and Pablo’s Pizza and Butter Cream Cupcakery in Fort Collins donated 10 percent of their sales on November 30. Big Al’s Burgers and Dogs in Fort Collins donated over $800 to the fund through its Big Al’s Big Change jar.
El Pomar’s North Regional Council created the Northern Colorado Empty Stocking Fund to raise money to provide resources for local human service agencies dedicated to helping community members struggling to meet basic needs and assisting others on the verge of achieving self-sufficiency and self-reliance. El Pomar Foundation and the United Ways of Larimer and Weld counties cover all administrative costs for the campaign, meaning that every dollar donated goes directly to the recipient organizations
The North Regional Council brings together a diverse group of community members to create change in northern Colorado through grantmaking and community initiatives. North Regional Council members include: Ginny Kinnick, Professor Emeritus at University of Northern Colorado; Kathay Rennels, Assistant Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Colorado State University; Gordan Thibedeau, President and CEO of United Way of Larimer County; and Bob Tointon, President of Phelps-Tointon, Inc.
Visit www.nocoemptystocking.org to learn more about Northern Colorado Empty Stocking Fund.