Having raised over $1.14 million, the 2011-2012 Gazette – El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund campaign came to a very successful conclusion last Friday with a closing celebration at Penrose House on January 27.
This year’s campaign wrapped up with a few notable accomplishments, including a record $45,700 raised from community partnership events and a $50,000 first-time major gift from the Chapman Foundation, both of which helped the campaign exceed last year’s fundraising total by $97,000. With 40 campaign partnerships and 2,486 individual donors, more than $870,000 was raised from community donations alone, an incredible feat in this struggling economy.
But the Empty Stocking Fund is more than just numbers. At its heart, the Fund is all about relationships and the Pikes Peak region’s rich philanthropic legacy.
In its 28 years, the Empty Stocking Fund has seen significant changes. The Fund began after an article that ran in the Colorado Springs Gazette in 1984 told the story of a local family in need. The community was so moved by the piece that an incredible influx of gifts and donations were delivered to the lobby of the Gazette. Items ranged from diapers to dog food to donations. In an effort to manage the charitable chaos and support the community’s neighbors in need, the Gazette organized an annual fundraiser, and since its inception, the community has continued to support the campaign. For the past five years, the campaign has raised over $1 million and increased the number of agencies benefiting from the funds.
Currently, with 15 benefiting agencies serving some of the most vulnerable populations of the Pikes Peak region, the impact of the Empty Stocking Fund reaches beyond the holiday season. Throughout the year, the funds raised help the agencies provide hot showers for the homeless, meals for struggling families, and much needed rent and utilities assistance for senior citizens.
Jim Faber, Chief Executive Officer of Pikes Peak Community Action Agency (PPCAA), said he hopes the community understands just how much this campaigns means to the benefiting organizations.
“The generous support of the Empty Stocking Fund impacts everything that PPCAA does throughout the year, and it could not serve so many people without the support,” said Faber, “In 2011, PPCAA served nearly 18,000 clients across all four of its programs and the Empty Stocking Fund Dollars touched every one of those families and made a difference.”
For many families, like the ones served by PPCAA, where there once was uncertainty, there is now hope. In this economy, the need has been greater than ever and the challenge to deliver more services with fewer resources is becoming increasingly difficult for many nonprofits. Fortunately for the Empty Stocking Fund and its beneficiaries, the community continues to rise to the occasion and exceed expectations.