The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
There is no better—or easier—time to donate to causes you care about than on Colorado Gives Day. The annual statewide day of giving promotes and celebrates philanthropy by encouraging Coloradans to make online donations to one (or more) of 2,000 participating charities at ColoradoGives.com. Last year, local nonprofits raised more than $38 million, and Community First Foundation, which organizes the event, is hoping to best that number this year. While you can’t go wrong with donating to any of the organizations, deciding which causes to support can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of 10 worthy organizations to consider. Whether you choose one of our picks or make another choice, know that your generosity is needed and appreciated.
The Gathering Place: Denver’s only daytime drop-in center for women, children, and transgender persons experiencing poverty or homelessness, The Gathering Place provides a safe environment and intervention services for individuals and families in crisis. Visitors receive nutritious food, toiletries, and other necessities, as well as basic services such as showers, laundry, and referrals for services and support. In addition, the organization hosts programs that facilitate overall well being and stability. The Education and Job Readiness Program teaches employment skills to help vulnerable individuals achieve self-sufficiency, while the Physical and Mental Health Program provides access to health screenings and other basic health services.
Judi’s House: Losing a parent, sibling, or someone close to you is difficult for anyone, but it can be particularly devastating for children who don’t know how to effectively process grief. Enter Judi’s House, an organization that promotes connection and healing through group, individual, and family grief services, and hosts groups in Denver schools. The sessions use the Comprehensive Grief Care model, a developmental, trauma-informed approach that normalizes the journey of grief, while effectively preventing and addressing complications that accompany bereavement.
Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.: Horseback riding is an enjoyable experience for many, but it can be particularly positive for individuals with disabilities. According to CTRC, which provides therapeutic riding and other horse-related therapy programs to more than 500 participants each year, the three-dimensional swinging motion of a horse’s gait creates a dynamic therapy tool for the rider while also stimulating muscle, brain, emotional, and physical activity.
Advocates For Children: Every 45 seconds in the U.S., a child becomes a victim of abuse, and every day, more than four children are killed by child abuse. Advocates For Children matches trained community volunteers with child abuse and neglect victims to act as independent investigators and work with other professionals to determine what is in the best interest of these children. They report their observations and recommendations to a judge, who uses this information to make decisions about where a child should live and what kinds of services and treatment are necessary to help a child overcome the trauma they have experienced.
Friends of the Colorado Talking Book Library: This organization supports the Colorado Talking Book Library in their mission to provide books and other printed materials in alternative formats to Coloradans who are not able to read due to disability or visual impairment. The CTBL provides services to more than 7,500 Coloradans, but more than 450,000 residents qualify for the library’s services. By supporting Friends of CTBL, you’re helping to fund two staff positions, the in-house recording studio, and the robust volunteer program.
4 Paws 4 Life Rescue: Nearly eight million pets enter animal shelters each year, and around 50 percent end up being euthanized due to a lack of shelter resources. This Lakewood nonprofit rescues dogs from high-kill shelters, provides training when needed, and places them in loving foster homes or with boarding partners while the animals wait to find their fur-ever homes. The organization also works to educate the public about responsible pet ownership and hosts weekly adoption events at Petco in Lakewood.
Matthew Shepard Foundation: Founded by the parents of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old University of Wyoming student who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in 1998, this Denver-based foundation seeks to “replace hate with understanding, compassion, and acceptance” through varied education, outreach, and advocacy programs.
Autism Society of Colorado: A lifeline for autistic individuals and their families that currently receives more than 400 requests for assistance per month, the ASC attempts to improve the lives of all affected by autism. This effort includes providing the most current and accurate resources and referrals, implementing programs that promote quality of life, advancing legislation to increase funding for treatment and support, and providing educational advocacy to ensure children with autism receive the equal education they deserve.
32nd Avenue Jubilee Center: This grassroots organization attempts to serve the often-marginalized Northwest Denver community by providing programs and services targeting those struggling with poverty and other issues. These programs focus on such areas as youth enrichment, emergency assistance, community healthcare, community development, and immigration advocacy.
Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado: Our nation’s courts are supposed to be open to all, but many find themselves effectively locked out of justice due to their inability to afford a lawyer. The Legal Aid Foundation is the only agency in Colorado to provide free legal assistance in civil matters in every county in the state, promising equal access to justice for low-income Coloradans.