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Voices of the Fellowship: Fellows Share the Highlights of Supporting the Empty Stocking Fund

Tags: Fellowship Empty Stocking Fund

Each holiday season, thousands of generous individual donors and hundreds of businesses and organizations come together to support 20 health and human service agencies across the Pikes Peak region through The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund. What started as a small holiday food and utilities drive in 1984 has since grown to a campaign which raises more than one million dollars in just under 9 weeks. This year, six El Pomar Fellows have been privileged to work with the Empty Stocking Fund. Here, they share the highlights of working with and giving to the Empty Stocking Fund campaign.


Allie Romo, Empty Stocking Fund Director - When I think about what I love most about the Empty Stocking Fund, I instantly think: the people. From our donors, whose giving illustrates the generosity of our neighbors in the Pikes Peak Region, to our agencies, who are the boots on the ground helping our neighbors to reach self-sufficiency — it is the people who make it an honor to be a part of the Empty Stocking Fund. Ultimately, our neighbors in the Pikes Peak Region not only make the campaign a reality, but also help to make our community a great place to call home.



TeRay Esquibel - I am grateful to have been on the 2015-16 Empty Stocking Fund campaign because it has provided me an opportunity to meet fantastic people in the community. I am proud to be a part of a community that prides itself on its strong passion to help others. The 20 health and human organizations receiving aid from the Empty Stocking Fund represent truly noble causes and work diligently to tackle the hard problems facing the Pikes Peak region. The fact that 100% of the money raised through Empty Stocking Fund goes directly to these fantastic organizations means every dollar truly does help somebody in need.



Julia Lawton – Though I have lived in Colorado Springs for four years, I could never have imagined the breadth of amazing services and resources the agencies provide within our community. I am thankful the Empty Stocking Fund has allowed me the opportunity to meet and work with many of the community’s most passionate and driven leaders and to serve as an advocate for their organizations. This experience served as an impressive example of the power of community support and collaboration, and I am grateful to be involved with a campaign that enables such wonderful organizations to serve the needs of Colorado Springs.



Garrett Mayberry - Working on the Empty Stocking Fund is like celebrating the generosity of Christmas for three months. It is a blessing to know that 100 percent of our neighbors’ donations will benefit 20 health and human service nonprofits in the region. As a recent transplant to Colorado Springs, I deeply appreciate the opportunities to connect with the city—whether through presentations to nonprofit boards, fundraising events, or social media posts for the campaign. The philanthropic spirit of this city is heartwarming! I’m proud to support the Empty Stocking Fund not only through my time at work, but with my dollars.



Mari Tanabe - Through working on the Empty Stocking Fund campaign, I have had the unique opportunity to participate in radio interviews, in which partner agencies shared stories about the work they do. In the midst of all the little details that go into planning a $1 million fundraiser, it is easy to lose sight of why the Empty Stocking Fund is such an asset to our community. Those radio interviews are a beautiful reminder. They illustrate the impact the 20 organizations have on individuals, families, and the community as a whole. I am proud to have a small role in this large community effort.



Suzanne Scott – Although I’ve lived in Colorado Springs since I moved here to train at the Olympic Training Center six years ago, I had never felt as connected to the community as I did when I began working on the Empty Stocking Fund for the 2014-15 Campaign. I am very grateful for the chance to work on the program for a second year. Getting to work alongside exceptional organizations and people that are making a positive impact in our community is incredibly inspiring.




The 2015-2016 Empty Stocking Fund Campaign will run until Friday, January 15, 2016. Donations can be made at