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Five years of giving: Denver7 Gives celebrates major milestone on June 18

Denver7 Gives has raised millions to help with hundreds of causes over the past five years
Posted: 6:54 PM, Jun 18, 2024
Updated: 2024-06-24 18:11:55-04
Five years of giving: Denver7 Gives celebrates major milestone on June 18

DENVER — Five years ago, Denver7 decided to step outside our local news comfort zone and try something new.

So many of our viewers would ask, "How can we help?” after a tragedy. We, as a news organization, recognized we were in a unique position to help.

Denver7 Gives was soon born out of that simple idea. It began as a news initiative the founders hoped would make a small difference beyond simply reporting on the story.

“When you give, it just feels good,” said former Denver7 assistant news director Kirsten Boyd, a co-founder of Denver7 Gives. “The idea was, we tell all these stories that are so heartbreaking, and then we walk away from them. It just never felt like we were doing anything actionable. It just became really evident that we needed to be that instrument to help people.”

“It goes all the way back, for me, to the Oklahoma City bombing,” said retired Denver7 news director Holly Gauntt, co-founder of Denver7 Gives. “I happened to be there when that happened. And the mayor and people in the city were saying, "We desperately need gloves and boots and picks and shovels." We asked people to start bringing over whatever they could, and the line of cars was so long that we had to have three different police officers come and help people get through it.”

It’s often said we rise by lifting others, an expression that perfectly embodies the mission behind Denver7 Gives. It’s that kind of generosity Denver7 was hoping to mimic with Denver7 Gives.

“I think it came down to, people wanted to help, and we were like, "Aren’t we in a position to help?"” said Boyd.

Denver7 Gives celebrates 5 years of helping people in the community

What it has become is beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.

“How could we have known in the summer of 2019 what would happen 8 months later?” Boyd said. “The need became even greater.”

“A $5 donation here, a $10 donation there,” Gauntt said. “It doesn’t have to be a lot to add up.”

“It started with $500 to this campaign, $1,000 to this campaign. And then it grew into the wildfire fund of $700,000,” Boyd said.

All through the generosity of Denver7 viewers like Fred and Diann Kissell.

“My core belief is that we’re on this Earth to help each other,” Diann said.

“We both come from large families. And large families, if they’re a good family, they work together. They help each other,” said Fred.

The Kissells alone have donated nearly $2,000 to roughly 20 different campaigns, in part because of the pain of their past.

“I had a real hard life, and for many years, I was a single mother with four teenagers,” Diann said. “I would never have made it without the help of others. I’d have no more money for groceries, and I’d come home, and my porch would be full of groceries. Somebody dropped them off.”

The same is true of Donna Leabhard.

“My husband passed away about 30-some years ago, and I lost my job,” Leabhard said. “And I had a couple friends who set up what would be a GoFundMe page nowadays. And I got enough money to tide me over. So, I have a lot of empathy for anybody who has to go through troubling times.”

She’s donated to more than a dozen Denver7 Gives campaigns.

“I’ve been doing it for a long time, but never a large amount,” Leabhard said. “Which maybe is the point. You don’t have to give a lot. I’m pretty much living on Social Security and you know, my life is good. I have no complaints.”

Viewers also take comfort in knowing every single dime donated through Denver7 Gives goes right back out the door to the intended recipient. Denver7 Gives and the Scripps Howard Fund absorb all overhead costs.

“People who donate to Denver7 Gives, they know that every penny is going to that cause,” Gauntt said. “We have no overhead.”

“Because the news side covers the cost of all of that other administrative stuff,” Boyd said.

Informative news making a difference in our community.

“We’re using our powers for good to try to help,” Gauntt said. “I think it makes a big difference for people watching the news.”

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

To donate to this campaign or choose another to support, use the secure form below.

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