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Starting at 6:00 p.m. on May 12, the Chaffee County “We Are Chaffee” initiative will present an online Zoom storytelling event called  We Are Chaffee, Stories of Impact, a series of video shorts that highlight the positive impacts of our local nonprofits and community organizations on situations of homelessness and housing insecurity and need in Chaffee County.

The free movie event includes a collection of stories created by Chaffee County residents, including one shared in Spanish with English subtitles. The event will offer a Spanish translation option through a partnership with the San Juan Language Cooperative.

In addition to the stories, there will be a Question and Answer session with the storytellers.  Participants will learn more about their personal stories of challenging times, and the work of the organizations they are representing. The event also includes a complimentary takeout dinner from a local restaurant for the first 100 households that register for the movie, or registrants may choose to donate the cost of the dinner to one of three designated local nonprofits.

Courtesy image.

The stories presented in the videos at this event are the result of a collaboration between Denver’s StoryCenter and the We Are Chaffee initiative. The stories are developed, told, and produced by each storyteller to create videos exploring personal stories that reflect the good work of our local nonprofits and community organizations. They demonstrate why the concepts of being courageous and true to oneself, as well as being open-minded and willing to accept a hand from others, are so important to our collective lives and the health of our community.

The new We Are Chaffee website  is designed to be a safe place for nonprofits, community institutions, and others to share and engage in each other’s stories. The hope is that through listening, sharing, and engaging in local stories, our community will become more aware and accepting, and ultimately more compassionate and resilient for those who have experienced personal and family struggle. The We Are Chaffee initiative grew out of the Chaffee County Public Health and Chaffee County Office of Housing grant-funded Housing + Health Program, along with the Chaffee County Community Foundation and others who were inspired to create We Are Chaffee to be a catalyst for community dialogue and learning.

Chaffee County Advocacy Coordinator for We Are Chaffee, Lisa Martin, explained “Sharing stories is a powerful method to communicate personal experiences from an honest and heartfelt place to educate an audience in an emotional and impactful way. As a community, the more we understand and support each other, the more resilient we will become.”

Click here to register.