We often get lost amongst the frenzy of holiday shopping. Finding the perfect present for our best friend or high-maintenance mother-in-law can overshadow the true spirit of the holidays—giving. But in Colorado, there’s really no excuse not to give back to the community: With more than 20,000 charitable organizations operating in the state, there is a host of ways you can get involved and help people and causes in need. Here, we are offer five socially conscious ways to spend your time and money.

Mile High WorkShop

Everyone deserves a second chance, and the Mile High WorkShop in Aurora makes sure of that. Their mission is to provide job training and employment opportunities for men and women who want to rebuild their lives from addiction, homelessness, and incarceration. Mile High WorkShop also provides contract manufacturing services in cutting, sewing, woodworking, laser-etching, and packaging. Their services are available for hire or you can buy handmade bags, cutting boards, clothing, tables, and other products from their shop. Every purchase made from the store directly supports their job-training mission. 13280 E Mississippi Ave., Aurora

Global Goods and Coffee

If you like coffee as much as we do, be sure to make a trip to Global Goods and Coffee in Olde Town Arvada. Doubling as a coffee shop and a retail store, Global Goods and Coffee was founded by Global Refuge—a nonprofit organization that aims to provide medical aid for people displaced by war and to prevent cholera, dysentery, malaria, pneumonia, and malnutrition in third world countries. The volunteer-run retail shop sells global goods such as necklaces, bracelets, paintings, and purses made by artisans from Northern Uganda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The artisans are paid a fair price that helps them provide for their families. In addition to purchasing the handmade goods, you can also help Global Goods and Coffee by donating your time as a volunteer barista. 5613 Olde Wadsworth, Arvada

The Crowley Foundation

Photo courtesy of the Crowley Foundation

Based in Denver, the Crowley Foundation provides young men with social, emotional, and leadership development opportunities to help them succeed. Through their programs, young men are more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and become positive role models in their communities. A donation to the Crowley Foundation will go directly to programming like Career Workshops and boys2MEN—a low-cost educational and empowerment curriculum that teaches social skills, provides mentoring, and networking for young men. Donate here.

Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Based in Golden, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) aims to complete, promote, and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail through building a strong trail community and encouraging conservation efforts of the Trail. The 3,100-mile Continental Drive Trail spans New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. This holiday season, the CDTC is giving an ENO Doublenest Hammock with any donation of $250 or more. All proceeds go to the stewardship of the Trail. You can donate here. 710 10th Street, Suite 200, Golden

Meals on Wheels

While you’re perfecting your holiday menu, consider donating your time to deliver hot, nutritious meals to our senior community. TLC Meals On Wheels delivers meals, while also providing a daily visit and wellness check to individuals and their families. Whether it’s one meal or a handful of meals to last a weekend, any help is appreciated. If your weekends are already booked, TLC Meals On Wheels is always accepting donations. Sign up to deliver here. 7300 S. Clermont Drive, Centennial

Victoria Carodine
Victoria Carodine
Victoria Carodine is a Denver-based writer and a former editor on 5280's digital team.