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Keeping Hope Alive: The Importance of Empty Stocking Fund in Supporting Our Local Nonprofits

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Keeping Hope Alive: The Importance of Empty Stocking Fund in Supporting Our Local Nonprofits 

By Claire Girardeau


Though the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises have resulted in tremendous loss and uncertainty this year, the 20 partner agencies involved in the Gazette Charities/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund (ESF) campaign have been steadfast in their commitment to the community members of El Paso and Teller Counties. As a 2nd Year Fellow with El Pomar Foundation, I am humbled to be a member of the campaign team and to support the tremendous work of these front-line superheroes who keep hope alive in our region.

Since March, the 20 ESF partner nonprofits have sent at-home learning bags to children, delivered meals, provided rental assistance, conducted telehealth sessions and continued administering many other services to support people in crisis. What amazes me is how versatile the entities have been in the face of facility closures and new safety measures to protect volunteers. COVID restrictions may have pushed operations online or necessitated the use of personal protective equipment in distribution centers, but it never fully inhibited their work. In addition to the Zoom meetings and family gatherings that will dominate my reflections of this year, I will also always remember the virtual fundraisers and incredible strategies used by nonprofit professionals to serve their clients during this period. 

My team at Empty Stocking Fund has also found ways to pivot to better connect with the community and encourage donations. Our usual set of fun events from trivia tournaments to movie nights may now be online, but that has not reduced the time and energy we put towards these festivities. We know that raising funds for our agencies is more important than ever this year. Like many nonprofits and small businesses in this community, public crises have bred determination and ingenuity in the Empty Stocking Fund agencies to support what matters most.



Empty Stocking Fund supports the following organizations:

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You can donate online at or by calling 719-476-1673

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@EmptyStockingFundCO)