Deborah Rose column: We need to do what we can to help nonprofits, others

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose / Hearst Connecticut Media

Every penny matters.

When it comes to running any entity, albeit a business, organization, church or any other group, having a stream of revenue matters. It’s vital to existence.

Since the pandemic began earlier this year and our lives came to a screeching halt with lockdown orders, companies large and small, businesses, organizations, places of worship and non-profits had to take a hard look at their present — and future.

Nonprofit organizations have especially been challenged during these times. Most of these groups rely on in-person fundraisers, many of which draw large crowds of people and/or close contact in a venue. Due to social distancing and crowd-size restrictions, these types of events are not permitted.

That means galas, golf tournaments, auctions, festivals and fairs, and many other activities have all been put on the back burner. As a result, these nonprofits have had to find creative ways to bring in funding to continue their missions.

I’ve been impressed with some of the unique ways these organizations have reached out to the community to continue raising funds safely.

Roxbury’s Little Britches Therapeutic Riding Program, which is designed to expand and improve the physical and emotional well-being of individuals with special needs through the use of horses and ponies, is one of the local nonprofits in the Greater New Milford that has altered its way of raising awareness while bringing in financial support.

Its annual Boots & Britches BBQ wasn’t allowed to be held due to the pandemic. The group announced a virtual auction instead. The auction, which features a variety of items, ranging from fine art to fun experiences and getaways, runs through Oct. 5.

Harrybrooke Park in New Milford canceled three of its biggest events due to the pandemic: The Big Jeep Thing, the Haunted Trail and the Hog Wild Hustle.

The park isn’t the only local organization affected by the cancellation of the haunted trail. Last year, funds raised at the event that drew thousands of people were shared among numerous groups. The “split pot” supported the park as well as the New Milford Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of the Lakes Church, the Boy Scouts, the New Milford High School Grad Party, The Children’s Center and the United Methodist Church.

That’s a lot of local entities that will not get extra dollars to help them fulfill their mission and community outreach due to the loss of just that one big event.

This summer, the park held a “Momma & Me Tea,” a social distant event, in its gated garden. What a creative idea.

The park also recently announced another new fundraising event, a socially distant “Extreme Hide & Seek in the Park,” Oct. 17.

Visitors are invited to bring a backpack of snacks and find a place to hide in the park to avoid being found by one of the park’s two seekers. A winner will be named.

The cost is $25 per person. The event is limited to a number of people.

The virtual auction and the park event are just two of the alternative offerings groups have established during these difficult times.

There are too many local nonprofits and other groups that rely on public support to mention here. But each and every one of them offer something special and unique and have a place in our community, just like local businesses.

It’s just as important to support these nonprofits and other groups as it is to support local businesses, which supply our towns with jobs, tax revenue and so much more.

We need to do whatever we can to be sure these nonprofit groups and other entities that rely on fundraisers and community support can continue their missions. Every penny — and dollar — counts.

As we head into a new season, one that includes holidays that are focused on being thankful and giving, let’s remember what makes our communities so special: we, the people, and the positive and supportive actions we take to help our neighbors be prosperous and successful.

Deborah Rose is a lifelong New Milford resident who has worked at The Spectrum since its inception in 1998. She can be reached by email at