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Darol Sole, front, dances to YMCA during rehearsal for the 2015 FRIENDS of Broomfield variety show. (File photo)
Darol Sole, front, dances to YMCA during rehearsal for the 2015 FRIENDS of Broomfield variety show. (File photo)

Broomfield nonprofits and others across the state and country are hoping to see a surge in giving next week for #GivingTuesdayNow, a campaign launched to help organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign is a coronavirus-inspired adaptation of the annual GivingTuesday effort founded in 2012 as a “global generosity movement” aimed at “unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world,” according to the organization’s website.

“We believe that generosity has the power to unite and heal communities in good times and bad,” the organization states on the site. “A global threat like COVID-19 touches every person on the planet, and it presents an opportunity to come together as a global community.”

Last year GivingTuesday raised $511 million for U.S. nonprofits, according to the site. The traditional event will still be held Dec. 1, which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Unlike Colorado Gives Day, the annual statewide online fundraising campaign for nonprofits held in December, the COVID-inspired GivingTuesdayNow campaign doesn’t have a central spot for participating organizations to register or promote their causes. Rather, said Broomfield Community Foundation Executive Director Marianna Williamson, it is an opportunity for people to do what they can for organizations that do so much for their communities.

“I just want to encourage everyone to give, no matter what organization,” she said. “All of the nonprofits can really use help during this pandemic.”

Gifts of any amount to any nonprofit make a difference now more than ever, Williamson said.

FRIENDS of Broomfield on Tuesday will promote its “Quarantine Guarantee” campaign. The goal is to raise $10,000.

FRIENDS, a nonprofit that serves developmentally disabled adults, closed its facility on March 15 and kept only residential services going through host homes and family caregivers, said Gina Coufal, FRIENDS founder and executive director of development. The agency continued to provide one-on-one support for clients who live on their own, she said, and conducted regular check-ins with families.

It will remain closed through May 31 until FRIENDS receives guidance for re-opening from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, she said.

As a Medicaid provider, FRIENDS’ revenue comes as a reimbursement for services. With its day, social and travel programs shut down, the nonprofit cannot bill for those services, even when overhead expenses continue, Coufal said.

“Unfortunately most of our participants who were working lost their jobs as well,” she said.

Having to close programs has been particularly difficult for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Coufal said. Staying quarantined means less chances for them to keep routines and schedules; work on daily living skills; volunteer; work and, most importantly, socialize with friends.

“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities aren’t always able to understand what is happening and why things change, so adapting isn’t always easy,” she said. “They need extra support to practice protective measures to keep distance and wear masks. They can become quickly agitated, and we see behaviors escalate. Of course then our caregivers suffer, too.”

The nonprofit has developed virtual classes to help participants connect and continue to learn. It is offering five to six classes a day, Monday through Friday. FRIENDS has kept all employees working, Coufal said and with the help of grants, Paycheck Protection Program and individual donations, it hopes to recover some of the lost program revenue.

Funds raised Tuesday will go toward supplies it needs to reopen on-site programs, she said, which she hopes will happen June 1. Those supplies include masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. FRIENDS also will need antibacterial  soaps and sprays and more frequent deep cleanings of facilities.

Because nonprofits are not required to register for GivingTuesdayNow, there is no centralized listing of their needs. However, those seeking a nonprofit to which they can donate, can visit the Colorado Gives Day site, which allows users to search by city or ZIP code, and features a long list of local organizations.

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