Cornelius Duncan, right, has a thank you hug for Kim Miller, Food Program Nutritionist at the OUR Center. He finished shopping for his food at the pantry.
The OUR Center, in Longmont, beat its goal for fundraising.
Cornelius Duncan, right, has a thank you hug for Kim Miller, Food Program Nutritionist at the OUR Center. He finished shopping for his food at the pantry. The OUR Center, in Longmont, beat its goal for fundraising.
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Every day, the OUR Center meets with families from roughly 100 households struggling to keep the lights on and the heat running.

Thanks to the generosity of Colorado residents last week during Colorado Gives Day, the nonprofit, will be able to help a couple dozen more Longmont families meet their utility and rent needs, after exceeding a fundraising goal.

The OUR Center was one of 302 Boulder County nonprofits that benefited from the annual day of giving Dec. 10. The fundraising event was presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank. Like the OUR Center, many organizations across the Front Range raised more than expected, according to Beth McConkey, the director of communications for Community First Foundation . While full data won’t be available until January, McConkey estimated that Boulder County raised more than $4.4 million in donations this year.

“That is really exciting because it means (nonprofits) can focus on providing the programs and services the community relies on them for,” McConkey said. “That is the best news we could get and is what Colorado Gives Day is about.”

Elaine Klotz, the development director of the OUR Center , said the nonprofit couldn’t disclose how much was raised. However, she said, the organization received $7,000 more than last year. In addition to the utility and rent program, Klotz said they will use fundraising dollars to benefit the Aspen Center for Child Development. The program provides day care to children 6 weeks to 6 years old and tuition is based on the family’s income. Roughly 50 children participate each day.

“We do rely on that funding in order to provide services to more people as the community and needs have grown,” Klotz said. “A lack of affordable housing is an issue, stretching peoples’ budget. We are looking to help people fill the gaps in their budget…(and) to help them maintain that self sufficiency.”

In Denver, Economic Literacy Colorado, a nonprofit that works with teachers to give students in classrooms across the state financial skills, raised a record amount — more than $37,000. Debbie Pierce, the president and CEO of the organization , said she felt the outpouring on Colorado Gives Day showed support from the community for this mission. She added that this year they saw about eight new donors, too.

“Colorado doesn’t require finance or economics to graduate, yet large percentages of parents and teachers know it’s important and we know it’s a life skill that benefits everybody,” Pierce said. “I believe that more and more people are seeing the value of students and teachers gaining important financial skills in order to succeed in life.”

Pierce said the funds will help the nonprofit continue to grow and reach more classrooms. She added that Economic Literacy Colorado hopes to also design a program that teaches girls about investment.

In addition to funds raised by residents a $1.5 million incentive fund was contributed by the Community Foundation and FirstBank. The fund matches the percentage of total donations raised by each nonprofit. Residents across the state of Colorado contributed $39.6 million to 2,569 nonprofits. Since its inception in 2010, Colorado Gives Day has raised $256 million.

McConkey thanked the community for giving back.

“I am very happy with how Colorado showed up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Colorado Gives Day,” she said. “Coloradans once again showed how much they love and cherish the nonprofits working to enhance our lives and solve some of the biggest problems facing Colorado.”