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This year has been a lesson in resilience—and no one knows that better than the dedicated community members and nearly 3,000 nonprofits that are part of Colorado Gives Day on December 8. Many of the participating organizations are operating with severely decreased budgets or struggling to survive because of the pandemic. But the annual statewide day of giving is an opportunity to provide an influx of money for local philanthropic efforts helping Coloradans deal with COVID-19 and much more. To help you decide what groups to donate to, we’ve compiled a list of nine organizations that are worth your support.
This contemporary ballet company utilizes art and dance as a vehicle for education and social change. In the months since the pandemic began, Wonderbound has produced 129 free films, hosted weekly immersive art and dance sessions for those experiencing homelessness, and provided interactive content for at-risk elementary students in the Denver area. 3284 Dahlia St. Donate here.
Colorado Pet Pantry
Colorado Pet Pantry tries to keep pets out of shelters by supporting pet owners who are struggling to feed their animals. On Colorado Gives Day, those in need can swing by Focus Points Family Resource Center, where thanks to a generous donation from Kroenke Sports Charities, Colorado Pet Pantry will distribute $2,500 worth of pet food from local brands I and Love and You and Only Natural Pet. We Don’t Waste, a Colorado nonprofit that reduces hunger and food waste by recovering unused goods from the food industry and delivering it to people in need, will also be hosting a food bank at the same time and location. 1–3 p.m.; Focus Points Family Resource Center at 2501 E. 48th Ave. Donate here.
Roundup River Ranch
In a typical year, this nonprofit offers children with serious illnesses and their families a full-on camp experience for free. This year, because of COVID-19, they’re instead bundling up a box of activities, including DIY art projects, science experiments, and other games, and shipping them to children and families who might not typically qualify for Roundup River Ranch‘s onsite programs. By donating you can double your impact, as all gifts this holiday season will be matched by a generous donor. 8333 Colorado River Rd., Gypsum. Donate here.
WeeCycle typically collects pre-loved baby gear and works with a number of groups to get it to Colorado families in need. At the beginning of the pandemic, the WeeCycle team shifted their focus to collecting and distributing the essentials, including diapers, baby wipes, food, and formula. They’ve served more than 32,000 Colorado infants and toddlers in that time, putting the mighty in “small but mighty.” Attend the next drive-through collection event on December 17 from 12–2 p.m. at 20 S. Havana St., Ste 210, Aurora, or donate here.
Epic Experience provides week-long outdoor trips, which include activities like whitewater rafting and cross-country skiing, for adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to connect through adventure. During COVID-19, the community aspect of the organization has become even more important. Their programming has shifted from in-person to virtual, including online camps, art and exercise programs, concerts, and more. Donate here.
Colorado Black Health Collaborative
This nonprofit aims to provide Black Coloradans with the resources to sustain optimal health and well-being. That effort includes events like the organization’s Barbershop & Salon program, which works with Kaiser Permanente African American Center of Excellence (AACE) to dispatch health care workers and volunteers to conduct health screenings for high blood pressure and other chronic diseases in underserved areas. 3025 S. Parker Rd., Aurora. Donate here.
Motus Theater tells the story of marginalized voices in an attempt to spur policy change. In recent years, much of the group’s efforts have been focused on immigration issues. For example, the company developed a performance series during which Colorado lawmakers read aloud the stories of women living in sanctuary in Colorado. Like many arts organizations, its performances have gone virtual for much of 2020, and the theater has even offered a handful of free events so that its mission to inform and educate audiences continues. Donate here.
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
Since this nonprofit began in 2005, it has helped save thousands of neglected and abused horses and farm animals. The group also uses the rehabilitated animals to provide alternative learning opportunities for children and adults from places like Denver Children’s Home, Tennyson Center for Children, Mount St. Vincent Home, and more. 7745, North Moore Rd., Littleton. Donate here.
Studies have found that as early as 13 years of age, girls will decide if they think they’re capable of pursuing a career in a STEM-related field. This nonprofit set its sights on providing middle and high school girls with programming that inspires them to visualize themselves as a future doctor, engineer, or computer scientist, so that one day women can be equally represented in those fields. Donate here.
Looking for other Colorado nonprofits to support? Check out our picks from Colorado Gives Day 2019 and 2018.