A Colorado county asked residents to share their coronavirus stimulus money. The response was overwhelming. | VailDaily.com
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A Colorado county asked residents to share their coronavirus stimulus money. The response was overwhelming.

Lauren Irwin, Colorado Sun
A vehicle travels a long stretch of highway on U.S. 6 near Haxtun, Colorado, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. (Austin Humphreys, Special to The Colorado Sun)

People who live on Colorado’s rural Eastern Plains are socially distant as a matter of course, but the pandemic has brought them close as a community.

When state-mandated shutdowns of restaurants and other businesses deemed non-essential began, residents of Phillips County knew they had to figure out a way to help make sure that when the restrictions lifted, their favorite local establishments were still around. 

Responding to calls from friends and articles in the local newspaper and on social media, people stepped up. They donated their stimulus checks, savings or just pocket change. Some kicked in as much as $3,000 to Help Holyoke, the campaign organized by Phillips County Economic Development Director Trisha Herman and her team.

In all, 125 people contributed more than $90,000 that was distributed to 19 businesses closed during the first round of shutdowns.

“It’s like a community investment in local businesses,” explained Allyn Robinson, who owns Happy Jacks Barbecue restaurant and catering company in Holyoke. “It shows that they appreciate people doing things in their community and they’re willing to put their money where their heart is.” 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.


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