A new initiative, Glacier Cares, raised $50,000 in just over 10 days to help Durango families and businesses during the holiday season.
The Glacier Cares team, a partnership between the Glacier Club and La Plata Family Centers Coalition, spent the week purchasing $45,000 in gift cards from Durango businesses, which will then go to about 1,000 children and teens to help them celebrate during the holidays. The initiative donated $5,000 to the LPFCC food bank.
Not only does the effort aim to help businesses hit hard by the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, but it also filled the gap left over by Project Merry Christmas, a holiday donation drive that lasted for 34 years before disbanding in 2019.
“It’s more important than ever that we come together and offer our support to local families and business owners who have been adversely affected by COVID-19,” said Rick Carlton, owner and developer of Glacier. The Glacier Club is a private mountain golfing and residential community about 18 miles north of Durango.
The Carlton family kick-started Glacier Cares, a new initiative launched this month, with a $5,000 commitment. Glacier homeowners and staff members helped raise the rest of the money.
“To pull this off in just over a week and make a positive financial impact on local businesses while bringing cheer to those in need is what this season and our community are all about,” said Jim Goodman, Glacier’s chief operating officer.
Team members purchased gift cards from dozens of local businesses this week, including Raider Ridge Cafe, Yess the Book Hutch, Durango Outdoor Exchange, Art Supply House and Zia Taqueria.
The gift cards were dropped off at Durango schools and distributed to their lists of families in need.
The Glacier team said the effort was also a call to action for the broader Durango community to support local businesses, food banks and charities in any way it can.
At Raider Ridge Cafe, co-owner Velvet Jackson could barely contain her emotions when Glacier Cares bought $2,500 in gift cards this week.
“Glacier Cares is going to help us get through the winters,” said Jackson, particularly with retaining staff during the slow season. “This is going to be a life-saving boom this winter. There are no words for how grateful we are.”