Red Cross, Westside CARES come through for family facing crisis after fire

Several weeks ago Carrie Steele was driving home when she saw smoke coming from the windows of her apartment and firetrucks outside. Her daughter then called to tell her that there was a fire on their floor two doors down and across the hall. "Run out, get out the door," Steele told her daughter. When her daughter and her friend who was visiting were unable to breathe in the apartment, they grabbed Steele's dog and were able to escape down the stairs. Unfortunately, they lost their cat in the fire. Steele said she and her daughter were left with nothing and nowhere to live. Her 9-year-old [...]

Single mom REACHes out for help paying utility bills

This is one of a series of stories about the nonprofit agencies that receive money from The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund campaign that runs through the holidays. Six years ago, Diane (name changed for privacy reasons) became the single mom of five children after a challenging divorce. She and her children then moved in with her parents. "It has been really hard to get my ex-husband to pay child support," Diane said. "I've been kind of struggling since then." Then her mother had a heart attack and needed open heart surgery. With medical expenses mounting, her father asked her to help him catch up [...]

Silver Key a family tradition for retired transplanted Texan

This is one of a series of stories about the nonprofit agencies that receive money from The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund campaign that runs through the holidays. On the eighth day of every month 65-year-old Gilbert Jessie Junior visits Silver Key Senior Services for assistance with food. "They help me with emergency services," Jessie said. Silver Key Senior Services serves and empowers thousands of seniors in Colorado Springs. It is dedicated to respecting the lives, safety and dignity of the elderly. They are committed to helping seniors with medical, housing and personal care through assistance and transportation. Silver Key Senior Services is able to [...]

33rd iteration of Empty Stocking Fund kicks off Thursday to benefit Colorado Springs-area nonprofits

When a woman flees home and her abusive husband, TESSA offers a safe house. To the working poor, Tri-Lakes Cares provides money for rent, clothing and medical care. And when families need aid raising children with developmental disabilities, The Resource Exchange steps in. Now, those nonprofits need a helping hand. The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund kicks off its 33rd campaign Thursday - aiming to help 20 nonprofits covering nearly all angles of the safety net for impoverished and disadvantaged people in the Pikes Peak region. "They're that network of support which this community needs," said Bill Hybl, the El Pomar Foundation's chairman and chief [...]

Empty no more: Gazette/El Pomar fund tops $1 million goal

By Jakob Rodgers - January 17, 2015 Call it a stocking well-filled. For the eighth straight year, The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund topped its goal of $1 million in donations and matching funds - reaching a highly sought goal while also eclipsing last season's haul. As of Friday morning, the campaign had raised about $1,163,000, said Amy Horton, The Gazette's fund program manager. About $893,000 of that came in the form of donations, while the El Pomar Foundation pitched in $200,000 in matching funds, and the Bruni Foundation gave $70,000 more. The figure is not final because more donations still needed to be tallied, [...]

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