You Only Get What You Give

This past month, Tri-County Health Network competed in Telluride Gives, an online giving campaign designed to unite the Telluride community to give back to local nonprofits who improve the quality of life for everyone in the region. This was a big campaign for us since this is the only time of the year we solicit for donations; we are almost entirely grant-funded.

I had the opportunity to help out in creating, coordinating, and implementing our campaign for Telluride Gives, which was built around “Joe’s Healthcare Adventure” (the whole story can be found here: I have to say, it was pretty remarkable to see the response from our community, not just to our campaign, but to Telluride Gives in general. One moment that really stands out to me was when Andy, another AmeriCorps VISTA serving at TCHNetwork, and I went on KOTO to talk about TCHNetwork and our campaign. We just so happened to be the last nonprofit to go on the air for the day and I remember very clearly watching Geoff, the KOTO DJ, pulling up the Telluride Gives leaderboard and announcing that over $100,000 had been donated to nonprofits so far that day. That really just blew me away. Consider the fact that at that time it was around 4pm, so the day was only about half over as well as the fact that most of the donations were of the $25, $50, or $100 variety from community members and I think you’ll agree that that is pretty impressive. Something else that hit home for me while at KOTO was seeing the other nonprofits going on to do their radio spots. Having interactions with those representatives really helped give me a sense of the scope and breadth of the nonprofit organizations in our region. It’s pretty remarkable to reflect on the fact that over 50 nonprofit organizations took part in Telluride Gives – that just doesn’t seem possible in our small corner of the world!

I also have to say that our team here at Tri-County Health Network did a great job of marketing our campaign and getting the word out. We had by far the most amount of total gifts of any nonprofit in our community with 47 (the next closest was 39) and raised $2,415! While we didn’t raise the most money, I think we can take a lot of pride in the fact that our totals were the result of many small but important donations by appreciative community members. To me, that speaks volumes about how well we are reaching the underserved populations in our area. Ultimately, I think our organization and our campaign really embody what Telluride Gives is all about: engaging and uniting our community to give back, with an emphasis on community. Like the great 90’s one-hit wonder, the New Radicals, once so famously said or, more accurately, sang, “you GET what you GIVE”. Thanks to all who supported TCHNetwork!

— Jay Shih, VISTA Analyst

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