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, [...]

Family falls on hard times, gets hand from Mercy’s Gate

By Ellie Cole Special to The Gazette • Published: January 6, 2015 Todd Swank left a $7 million company that he was managing in Tulsa to move to Colorado Springs for a new ministry opportunity. "I was just ready for something significant in my life," Swank said. He took the chance to move when a friend called looking for help administering a ministry for homeless teens who were involved in drugs and prostitution. Eventually, Swank was to be paid for his work. "It was definitely risky but there was a plan in place," Swank said. "It had the look and feel that this would happen. I [...]

YMCA provides warm, safe community for military families

By Ellie Cole Special to The Gazette Janene Marshall-Gatling went to the YMCA to get her children in swimming lessons, but the agency has become much more for the family. The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region supports those in the military with memberships, crisis prevention, programs, classes and more. Marshall-Gatling is a battalion commander in the Army Reserves and her husband is an active duty battalion commander at Fort Carson. She read a flyer about the YMCA at Fort Carson, and she decided to give some of the programs and activities a try for her children. "They offer a little more flexibility and variety than [...]

Home Front Cares helps family make ends meet

By Ellie Cole Special to The Gazette • January 1, 2015 Tom's wife suffers from many illnesses, and she must be mindful of the food she consumes. When she was a teenager, she was diagnosed with endometriosis and was told she wouldn't be able to have children, but the couple has three. "She has had a really hard adult life," said Tom, whose real name is not being used to protect his privacy. His wife has been hospitalized multiple times this year and she had to have teeth extracted. Their insurance has been good for hospitals, but not for dental issues, and they were out of [...]

Salvation Army helps man overcome by disorder

By Ellie Cole Special to The Gazette • Published: December 31, 2014 Robert Rodriguez worked in radio until 2012 and also had jobs at a call center and Colorado Springs' first Wal-Mart. So the fact that he can no longer work full time is tough on him. Rodriguez had to stop working because of a disorder that makes him shake and causes seizures, a condition likely linked to congenital hydrocephalus. "The Salvation Army gave me a place to stop and slow down, get my thoughts together, start working on a budget and start looking for a place to get back on my feet again," he said. [...]

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