For many, Grand Valley working residents, the relief checks from the federal government’s CARES Act can’t get here quickly enough to cover the basics like rent and groceries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people with no opportunity to make money.

For a select few, however, life hasn’t changed much. Some retirees may have a comfortable income stream that hasn’t been disrupted by furlough or layoffs.

Charlie Quimby and his wife, Susan Cushman, fit this description.

“We’re sitting here not really any worse off,” Quimby said, well aware that many people around them are suffering economic hardship.

So they came up with an idea that allows others in their situation to pool their stimulus checks to provide food, shelter and safety to those in western Colorado who need it.

They call it Western Slope CARES. Anyone who can afford to give up their stimulus checks and wants to make a difference can donate to a fund that will be administered by the Western Colorado Community Foundation — the same foundation that is helping the city of Grand Junction dole out grants to nonprofits who serve those whose lives have been upended by the pandemic.

To learn more, you can read Charlie Quimby’s op-ed in this coming Sunday’s Sentinel or see Ann Wright’s story about the Western Slope CARES campaign in the April 15 edition.

It’s a great idea and we hope those in a position to donate their checks (or any amount of money) will recognize the opporunity to multiply the impact of giving at a time when it’s desperately needed.

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Members of both the Colorado Oil & Gas Association and West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association raised more than $10,000 for the Food Bank of the Rockies by way of small, individual donations this past month.

“Times are tough for all of us, especially in the oil and gas industry, but it’s important to stand up and help our neighbors and friends in their times of need,” said Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. “Food Bank of the Rockies posted on their Facebook page that they anticipated taking a major hit as a result of this pandemic. People need to have access to food. It’s one of our most basic needs. It made sense to quickly organize a grassroots fundraiser for this amazing organization that provides nutrition and food across the state.”

The Food Bank of the Rockies serves more than 30 counties in Colorado, supporting communities throughout the Front Range, Northern Colorado and the West Slope, and engages with dozens of local partners to reach our most vulnerable households and provide food security.

Here’s to the generosity of the men and women of the oil and gas industry, who face their own uncertainties related to declining demand during the pandemic.

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