WyoGives: Local Nonprofits ‘Blown Away’


The Wyoming Nonprofit Network raised $536,571 for 130 organizations across the state in their first online WyoGives initiative July 15. More than 2,400 donors gifted to various causes across the Cowboy State.

Contributors were asked to donate to their favorite nonprofit organization, which also included matching gifts from sponsoring corporate and other partners.

The idea behind the online forum was to bring the state together as one community to support nonprofits in Wyoming virtually, especially during a time when so many had to cancel their largest fundraisers and charitable events due to public health orders and COVID-19.

Eight non-profits benefited from the day of giving in Campbell County, including The Council of Community Services, Campbell County Healthcare Foundation, Edible Prairie Project, Energy Capital Habitat for Humanity, Fur Kids Foundation, Gillette College Foundation, Gillette Main Street and Y.E.S. House Foundation.

The event utilized GiveGab, an online platform where individuals can read about the different nonprofits around Wyoming before making a donation. On this platform, each group displayed their individual websites, goals, mission statements and shared further information about how the community could help out and how donations will be spent.

“It went amazingly well,” Felicia Messimer, c0-director of Fur Kids Foundation, said Thursday.

They’d set a goal of raising $5,000, she said, but ended up receiving $7,970 in donations, which will be used to help Campbell County families afford emergency veterinarian care for their pets.

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According to Messimer, nearly 50 people donated to Fur Kids with matching sponsor John P. Ellobogen Foundation and two additional anonymous matching donors.

“The community is so generous – we see it time and time again,” she said. “We are so grateful for the support we received. Great things happen when people come together, and WyoGives proves that.”

The local Habitat chapter, Energy Capital Habitat for Humanity, also had a “very successful” WyoGives on Wednesday, according to Executive Director Brenda Kirk.

“Our goal was originally $3,000 for our current home project and future projects and we almost doubled it,” Kirk told County 17 Thursday. “It was really great and strengthened our connections with other local nonprofits.”

Misty Lange, development coordinator at the Council of Community Services, echoed the same sentiment.

“We live in a super generous and giving community,” Lange said, admitting their organization had initially set the bar pretty high with a $5,000 goal, before bumping it up to $10,000.

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The Council raised enough funds to provide 181 food pantry meals for a family of four, according to Lange.

“We’re blown away,” she smiled.

Mary Melarangno, executive director of the Y.E.S. House Foundation, said the same.

“We’re blown away by the generosity of the community,” she smiled. “We set a goal of $5,000 and beat it, raising nearly $6,150.”

At the Y.E.S. House, funds raised will be used to help provide emergency intervention services for young people in need.

“An amount of $1,500 will provide those services to one youth for 15 days,” she added. “That’s huge.”

Amounts raised for each organization can be found on the Wyogives website.