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—Photo courtesy of Freedom Service Dogs

Our Top Charitable Picks for February 1–7

Get Involved is a weekly series that points readers toward community-oriented events, volunteer opportunities, and good causes in Colorado.

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Shop, learn, play, and pet puppies this week—because giving back is fun.

Events to Attend

iTHRiVE Marketplace: This Etsy-esque event is geared toward Colorado women, with a woman’s touch. The Marketplace will showcase 30 local, female artists with talents ranging from textiles, jewelry, paintings, pottery, and chocolate. (Chocolate buyers are not expected to wait until they get home to rip the wrapper.) There will also be a DIY activity; an artist in residence will assist in helping guests make an art piece to promote their creative spirits. True to its mission, iTHRiVE aims to cultivate self-development through creative and educational social events and courses for women. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Anchor Center for Blind Children, 2550 Roslyn St.

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Meet Water For People Global Staff: If you don’t have time to travel the world and volunteer this weekend, get involved from the Mile High City. Denver-based Water For People, a nonprofit that develops reliable and safe drinking water sources and sanitation systems to areas around the world, is hosting some of their international staff members to inform attendees about the state of our world’s access to water. Do-gooders working in Latin America, India, and Africa will give presentations on how they are making sustainable improvements to water access and sanitation services. Wednesday, 5:30–7:30 p.m.; Water For People, 100 E. Tennessee Ave.

Causes to Care About

Freedom Service Dogs: This woof-tastic organization rescues dogs from shelters and gives them a home and a purpose. FSD trains each dog to service a predetermined owner. “Right now we have upwards of 50 people on a waiting list who struggle with a disability daily,” Erin Conley, marketing and public relations director, told 5280. “A well-trained service dog would change their lives.” The dogs are given to the disabled at no cost and FSD continues to provide lifetime support for the pups. They are raising funds to remodel their new building (think: kennels, a yard, and training rooms). They are currently located in a floodplain affected by the 2013 natural disaster; the building is in poor shape and is too small for their big plans. From now until April 30, every gift up to a total of $500,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the FSD Board and the Anschutz Foundation. You can also head to Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton for a brewery tour, and know that $1 of the cost will go to the FSD. In addition to donations, they are looking for volunteers to work in the kennel (yes, that means puppy playtime) and to help with administrative tasks. See their volunteer opportunities here.

Soccer for Success: Give back through your weekly workouts and become a mentor this year. The Colorado Rapids’ and the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success is a free after-school program that promotes fitness to help prevent childhood obesity and juvenile delinquency. The Denver metro program has 2,300 student, with a goal of serving 3,000 by May 2016. What do they need to impact more students? More coaches, which is where you come in. Coach mentors go through a training to learn how to positively work with kids in the most underserved areas. Feeling inspired yet? Get your cleats on.

To submit your event or organization for inclusion in 5280‘s weekly “Get Involved” column, email [email protected].

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