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This morning Ark Valley Voice can report that it has met the NewsMatch challenge from the Gates Family Foundation. As of late night New Years Eve, a flurry of donations toward the NewsMatch challenge brought the donation total to $5,915. The donations will unlock a $5,000 NewsMatch grant from the Gates Family Foundation.

“We are humbled. We cannot begin to thank our readers and supporters for their trust in Ark Valley Voice by contributing to help us qualify for this NewsMatch grant,” said Managing Editor Jan Wondra.

“The NewsMatch project is intended to inspire individuals to participate in supporting home grown news sources and you have responded in a manner that makes us so proud; not just of our writers, but of our readers,” added Wondra. “We truly believe in our role in a free and democratic society – to report factual, unbiased news that gives truth a voice.”

Ark Valley Voice was selected by the Colorado Media Project as one of only 18 newsrooms across the state of Colorado to receive this prestigious NewsMatch grant from the Gates Family Foundation.

Donations came in in all manner of ways – from $5 bills to checks, to new monthly online donations and one-time gifts. Donations came from everywhere – walking in the door, mailed, stuffed into a donation box by attendees at our December AVV Sock Hop (which also benefited the local homeless shelter, collecting more than 90 pairs of socks for the shelter).

One donor, invited to attend the sock hop, said she’d love to, but she lived in Hawai’i and couldn’t get here in time. Another donation came from Europe — paid in Euros.

“Free and independent local news is a public good that is vital to democracy, and all Coloradans have a vested interest in supporting the evolution of local public service journalism,” said Gates Family Foundation Vice President of Strategic Communications and Informed Communities Melissa Davis, of their support of the NewsMatch and Ark Valley Voice. “The Gates Family Foundation is proud to partner again with NewsMatch … to help inspire more individuals to support homegrown, Colorado news.

Fact Characters Laptop Showing Truth Facts And Knowledge

Our readers might have noticed that many of our stories have been tagged with the #newsCOneeds hashtag. The Colorado Media project has asked us to carry this designation, highlighting the role we play as a free press, providing unbiased, fact-based journalism in a democratic society.

Their endorsement of our work recognizes our local public service role providing independent, locally produced news to the Upper Arkansas Valley.

AVV shared the news with the Gates Family Foundation late last night. It prompted this response from Davis. “Fantastic news! Congratulations and thanks for sharing Jan. Hope you have a happy new year and we’ll be in touch next week about the documentation to get your match paid out.”

Ark Valley Voice thanks our thoughtful, intelligent, civically engaged readers for their trust in our home grown news reporting. For truth to have a voice – it will take all of us paying attention to the issues, sorting facts from fake news attacks — making the voices of truth known.