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Opinion: The Give! (COVID-19) Campaign 

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Coronavirus has delivered a blow to Colorado’s economy, threatening our families’ security and stealing our peace of mind. Everywhere you look there’s just so much need.

In the seven weeks leading up to May 2, 419,547 Coloradans applied for unemployment benefits, 41,000 of them in that last week. And while the state’s economy is beginning to sputter back to life, COVID-19 has business owners weighing their workers’ safety against potential profits, and the very real possibility that they’ll just have to close again if there’s a second wave of illness. At the same time, the Colorado Legislature — adjourned until May 26 because of the virus — is juggling (some really awful) options for dealing with a potential $4 billion budget shortfall.

Standing in the eye of this storm — and just as susceptible to its economic devastation — are local nonprofits that hold the safety net under struggling families, and others whose mission it is to keep life joyful and fulfilling even in times of trouble. That’s why the Give! Campaign, Colorado Publishing House’s year-end fundraising effort for Pikes Peak region nonprofits, is launching a special COVID-19 campaign that makes it easy to find and donate to 98 nonprofits from the Give! Class of 2019.

Here’s what those nonprofits are up against:

• Westside CARES: “We are seeing unprecedented levels of need. The numbers of people accessing our weekly pantries have more than tripled in the last several weeks, and I believe we are just beginning to see the economic fallout of COVID-19. Even as we celebrate short-term solutions, like eviction moratoriums, we know that bills for people living at the margins are compounding. We need the entire community’s help to keep pace with the demand for our essential services, like rental assistance and food pantries.” — Kristy Milligan, chief executive officer

• Inside Out Youth Services: “We know there are LGBTQ+ youth living in homes that are not accepting or affirming of their identities, and physical distancing has the unintended result of further exacerbating the isolation LGBTQ+ youth face. Many of our young people are struggling with the loss of a job, loss of housing, are experiencing suicidality, food insecurity, depression and anxiety. They rely on Inside Out Youth Services to be there for them, but despite this increase in need IOYS is facing significant cuts to our life-saving and life-affirming prevention programs. Upwards of 55 percent of our health prevention programs may be cut due to state budget shortfalls, we may have to cancel fundraising events, and folks who typically give may be facing their own financial insecurities. — Jessie Pocock, executive director
• One Nation Walking Together: We offer two fundraising events during the year and we have had to cancel both. Currently we are trying to ascertain the situation and find ways to make up this tremendous financial loss. — Laura Chickering, development director

• All Breed Rescue and Training: “Although there is the heartwarming silver lining of an over 400 percent increase in adoption interests compared to this time last year, we have been operating with only 30 percent of our normal income (donations, fundraising and revenue) throughout that increase. — Zachary Hampson, social media and event coordinator

You can help by donating, volunteering and sharing information about this COVID-19 fundraising campaign. To get involved, go to the Support Local Nonprofits page at indygive.com, where you will find donation links to nonprofits that provide direct emergency relief for families, followed by connections to other nonprofits from the Give! Class of 2019.

Any support you can offer will help keep our neighbors afloat and strengthen our community’s resilience in the face of this shared challenge.

We truly are stronger together.

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