If we’ve learned anything from this past year, it is that we need each other, our families, our friends, our neighbors, our communities. And of course, our local news.

The PRT wouldn’t exist if it were not for our network of volunteer writers, hardworking board of directors, loyal advertisers, generous donors and this amazing community in Eastern Santa County. 

A case in point is the local post office in Patagonia. Recently we needed stamps for our annual appeal. Our Assistant Editor drove up to get 600 stamps for our appeal letters. Initially, she was afraid that the small office wouldn’t even have enough stamps for this project. 

She was astounded by the level of service and welcome she received. The postal workers there were really interested in what she was mailing and got involved in helping her customize the stamps to be the perfect complement for our letters. Ultimately, they chose stamps that said “thank you,’ with beautiful gold lettering. It was important for the two employees, who worked together choosing and counting stamps, that what was on the outside of the envelope reflected positively on the letter inside. 

These personal relationships form the core of, and enrich, our small-town life. As a nonprofit news organization, the PRT, likewise, works to be a positive force in our community by informing and creating a common ground based on factual, impartial reporting. 

One thing is certain: the hunger for local news is stronger than ever before. In the last year, the PRT reported on the pandemic, providing local information and graphs not available anywhere else, as well as stories about how the pandemic affected our communities and schools. We also ran stories about local first responders, the Border Wall, our schools, local environmental issues and programs, controversies surrounding the Harshaw Mine project, activities at the Fairgrounds, the wineries, new businesses and much more. 

In January, the PRT took over and expanded Clare Bonelli’s weekly newsletter, which has grown to more than 1800 readers. We have become a platform for local organizations to get the word out about their events and activities. 

In addition to publishing the PRT, we organized an essay contest with our schools last fall, and this year, in partnership with the Patagonia Library and the Patagonia Creative Arts Center, we are hosting a school poetry contest. We continue to support the local recycling task force, whose members are working to return recycling services to our area. The PRT has worked to create a master list of the names of veterans in our area who are buried in local cemeteries. We are partnering with Patch, an internet news service that shares select articles from the PRT to a broader audience. We are also launching a new, much more robust website that will provide greater services to our readers and community. 

But a free press isn’t free. Our annual fund drive takes place in November and December. We hope that you will consider helping us to continue the work of bringing you your local news. 

This year, we are once again excited to share an opportunity to double your donation. For the third year in a row, the PRT has been selected to participate in NewsMatch, a national matching-gift campaign that drives donations to nonprofit newsrooms (like ours) around the U.S.

Here’s how NewsMatch works: We can earn up to $10,000 in matching funds from NewsMatch. For donations received between Nov.1 and Dec 31, NewsMatch will match your new monthly donation x12 or double your one-time gift, all up to $1,000.

The PRT must raise at least $26,000 from our donor base in order to continue producing the high-quality, independent, and local journalism you’ve come to rely on.

As a reader of the PRT, you’ve come to depend on our reporting to bring you the stories and information you can’t find anywhere else. And, as a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to make this work possible. We are a lean machine, we have four part-time staff members, our columnists and reporters are volunteers, and we have no office, save a donated storage shed. Your investment in the PRT goes a long way 

Will you consider making a donation to the PRT? Just think of the impact that could have – not just in our newsroom, but in our community.

The time is now. Trusted journalism like ours has never mattered more. Give today and NewsMatch will double the impact of your donation. Send us a check to: P.O Box 1073 Patagonia, AZ 85624. 

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