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The time of giving is here

Autumn is by far my favorite time of year.

I love fall sports, the cooler nights and changing colors. It’s not only a change in season, it’s a change in habits as the days get shorter, which signals year-end is nearing. As we begin wrapping up this year and planning for the next one, it reminds me of opportunities to support our local nonprofits.

We are fortunate in Durango and La Plata County to have so many incredible nonprofit organizations that offer critical services and contribute to our economy. With the variety of nonprofits located here, you can align yourself with an organization that reflects your shared beliefs and missions that you care about. There are numerous ones to choose from that focus on different programs, including housing assistance, child development, arts and culture, food insecurity, animal welfare, conservation, business assistance and many more. If you need help discovering what might be the best fit, please feel free to reach out to the Chamber and we can assist.

Nonprofits play an important role in our economy and strengthen the fabric of our community. Donating to nonprofits allows them to advance their mission, grow as an organization and do more.

My dad was an educator on the Front Range. He instilled in me the importance of giving, no matter the investment level. I found that my monthly contributions to the organizations I support provide the nonprofits with dependable cash flow, allow me to budget more effectively and give me great satisfaction in knowing I am helping others.

Despite the continued pandemic, I admire the number of businesses that have thrived this year, and I’m inspired by their resiliency and determination. If you are in a positive financial position, I challenge you to consider “paying it forward.” It’s a win-win. Give a charitable gift, support a local nonprofit, receive tax benefits and feel great about doing something good.

Even if you don’t have money to give to nonprofits, you can always give your time and skills. Volunteering your time can be just as valuable as giving money. Most times, nonprofits don’t have many dedicated staff, and your assistance is very valuable. Lend your special skills, or ask for donations during fundraising efforts. Offer your employees the opportunity to donate their time during working hours. A coordinated effort with co-workers can build rapport, strengthen workplace relationships, and help retain and attract employees.

You can also make a difference by recognizing outstanding nonprofits, businesses and individuals who have made an impact on our community. The Durango Chamber is now accepting nominations for our annual Durango Rocks Awards event held in January. Nomination forms for the various awards are currently available at www.durangobusiness.org/awardsnominations. Categories include Business, Small Business, Entrepreneur, Nonprofit, Citizen, Young Professional and Volunteer of the Year. Pay it forward and honor those who deserve the recognition.

Jack Llewellyn is executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at jack@durangobusiness.org.