From the Advocacy & Resource Center to the Wyoming Wilderness Association, Sheridan County is home to hundreds of nonprofits working to improve the community.
“Our nonprofit community is so unique,” said Amy Albrecht, director of the Center for a Vital Community at Sheridan College. “While there is an incredible spirit of philanthropy here, there is also a large number of nonprofits vying for those philanthropic dollars. The difference is that instead of a climate of cutthroat competition as in many other towns, it’s about collaboration and mutual support in Sheridan County. It’s a beautiful thing to witness.”
At the CVC, the only agenda is the community and engaging citizens to strengthen the place it calls home. A program of Sheridan College, the CVC operates as a nonprofit and raises its own funds for programming and support. It provides leadership training, nonprofit support and helps move community initiatives forward.
Throughout the year, local nonprofit organizations have fundraisers and projects on the calendar, from the Downtown Sheridan Association Wine Fest to the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies Empty Bowl, a fundraiser meant to mirror meals many individuals experience in homeless shelters or soup kitchens.
There are lightheartedly named events focusing on serious causes, like the Bottom’s Up Bash, which helps raise awareness and funding to fight colon cancer. Compass Center for Families’ annual Light of Hope breakfast honors those who have served children and families in Sheridan County.
According to the Wyoming Community Foundation, most charitable donations are made in the last two days of the year.
Because so many nonprofits conduct year-end giving campaigns, there can be competition for donations, according to a December news story in The Sheridan Press. However, like Albrecht, Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Bighorns executive director Christine Dieterich said Habitat does not want to take away from other good causes. Her organization focuses on appealing to donors by advertising its projects and letting donors choose which causes most appeal to them.
“We don’t ever want to step on any other nonprofit’s toes and we don’t want to end up in some kind of nonprofit ‘Hunger Games,’” Dieterich said.
Sheridan residents truly share their wealth, whether through monetary giving to the multitude of nonprofit options within the county or spending time volunteering for the organizations.