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When a Civic Project Goes Viral

John Chavez is a family leader.

As a long-time fundraising employee of the Diocese of Pueblo, John says his eyes were opened to the many needs facing families in the Pueblo community when he transitioned to a position in the Diocese’s Pastoral Ministries office two years ago.

“When I filled in at the front desk, I felt kind of helpless when people in need of various resources would come in looking for help, because I was not familiar with the community resource providers nor the programs that they offered,” he says.

When the Catholic Charities branch of the organization launched FLTI of Pueblo County in the fall of 2016, John knew he wanted to participate. “I wanted to learn more about my community, and I already had an idea of what I might do for my civic project,” Chavez recounts. He didn’t realize just how deeply FLTI would impact him. “FLTI was a life-changing experience for me – so much so, I can’t stop telling all my friends about it!”

As John progressed through FLTI, he began to have an increasing number of community conversations about resource navigation. Local service providers agreed that there was a gap in knowledge and awareness of what programs and resources were available for families in need. Thus, Chavez’ civic project was born.

John conducted a thorough scan of his community’s service providers and programs and created the online resource guide ConnectToCommunityResources.com, which launched in early summer 2017. Using his community network, John secured sponsorship for the web hosting fees and domain purchase.

Then, he says, “It just took on a life of its own!” As word got out about this new resource, people began sharing it. “All of the schools in the district and social workers with at various agencies are using it with the families they serve, the local police department is making their staff aware of the site, and most recently the Pueblo Public Library put a shortcut to the site on all of their computers,” reports Chavez.

“I had no idea it would be so popular, and I’m humbled to think of the many people that will be helped with this resource guide.”

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