In a previous post, we shined the spotlight on some Boulder-based charities and nonprofits that we felt deserved your attention. Because it is the Holiday season, let’s widen the scope a bit and highlight the charities all across the state that are doing good work.
Below are 25 Colorado charities we feel you should know about, and that we feel make our state a special place.
Front Range Equine Rescue
FRER works on a number of fronts to put an end to the abuse and neglect of horses. Its programs include a rehabilitation program, an adoption program, education outreach, and a campaign to ban horse slaughtering.
Here is one near and dear to our own hearts. ACE Scholarships provides scholarships for K-12 children from low-income homes in Colorado and Montana. “A child’s academic ability is not defined by their Zip code, or their parents’ financial means,” the charity’s organizers write, “but it is affected by the quality of school a child attends, and the quality of teacher a child has in his or her classroom.”
To date, ACE has provided 15,000 scholarships worth more than $25 million in Colorado alone.
Family and Intercultural Resource Center in Summit County
FIRC just celebrated 21 years of helping families in Summit County through its various programs, which include a food bank, education assistance, cultural integration help, foreclosure help and emergency services.
The Action Center in Jefferson County
The Action Center began in 1968 under the original name Jeffco Support, Inc., with a mission to break the cycles for local families that lead to homelessness or near-homelessness. In Action Center’s last fiscal year, it provided more than 800,000 meals to Jefferson County residents, gifted toys to more than 4,000 children, and provided nearly 6,000 nights of shelter to members of the community who needed a place to stay.
Invest in Kids, Denver
Invest in Kids is a nonprofit organization with a rather profit-focused mission: To spend money on programs benefiting children in low-income households now because the rewards can be manifold on down the road. IIK funds a pair of programs, the Nurse-Family Partnerships for new parents, and the Incredible Years Program for preschool-age children’s emotional and social health.
The Buddy Program in Aspen
The Buddy Program matches adults with children who need the presence of a mentor or additional caring adult in their lives. Additionally, the program helps provide scholarship opportunities, life skills classes, and organized experiential education events. On average, buddy pairs typically work together for nearly four and a half years, or twice the average of national programs.
Florence Crittenton Services in Denver
Florence Crittenton Services provides help in many areas for teenage mothers that includes ongoing academic education, advice and information on raising a family, career advice and counseling, and early childhood education for the children. The organization runs a high school for the parents who’ve yet to graduate, and it reports that 100% of 2014 graduates had plans for post-secondary education.
Focus Points Family Resource Center in Denver
Focus points was established 20 years ago in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, an area that today includes a large yet isolate Latino population. Focus Points’ work today works to get families English-literate and self-sufficient, gets their children ready to begin schools, and promotes healthy, active community inclusion.
Judi’s House in Denver
Former Bronco Brian Griese created Judi’s House in honor of his mother, who passed away when Brian was 12 years old. Judi’s House provides counseling and emotional support to children, teens and young adults who are struggling with grief after losing a loved one.
The Gathering Place in Denver
The Gathering Place provides a refuge for parents, children and transgender people struggling with homelessness and need a safe place to drop in during the day. The Gathering Place was founded in 1986, and today its services and programs touch the lives of 270 people daily.
Compassion & Choices in Denver
These are not comfortable topics of discussion for everyone, but Compassion & Choices does important work by helping people prepare for end-of-life concerns and ultimately achieve a good death. “We work to change attitudes, practices and policies so that everyone can access the information and options they need to have more control and comfort at the end of life,” Compassion & Choices writes.
Doctors Care, Littleton
Littleton-based Doctors Care has been working since 1988 to make sure that all patients have access to quality healthcare, regardless of their insurance status. To do this, the organization has four core areas of work: its own Doctors Care Clinic, an Access for the Uninsured program, a Connection to Coverage program to help patients navigate the insurance marketplace, and its Patient Health Navigation program to help people address what obstacles prevent them from gaining access to healthcare.
The Project for Self-Sufficiency in Larimer County
PS-S was established in 1986 to help single-parent households break the cycles of poverty through educational development, career counseling, child care and housing programs. The Loveland Reporter-Herald just did a nice story on PS-S Executive Director Mary Carraher, who after building up this organization for the past 25 years has taken on a new role at CSU’s School of Social Work.
Morris Animal Foundation in Denver
The Morris Animal Foundation was established just after the Second World War to provide funding for animal health research. To date, it has raised $92 million for more than 2,300 studies, which in turn have led to the discoveries of treatments and cures for animal diseases. The Foundation has also just launched its end-of-year fundraising effort, Season of Hope, which will see the first $100,000 in donations matched by anonymous donors.
Anchor Center for Blind Children
Denver’s Anchor Center for Blind Children helps Colorado children who are blind or visually impaired by providing early intervention and education services during the first years of their lives. Today, in the center’s 32nd year serving Colorado, it provides help to more than 400 children every year.
Community Shares in Denver
Community Shares is Colorado’s Community Giving Fund. Community Shares has been broadening charitable choice in workplace giving campaigns in Colorado for more than 25 years. One dollar at a time, one donor at a time, Community Shares has collected more than $26 million for local investment in Colorado nonprofits.
Dumb Friends League in Denver
This organization’s name sounds a little odd to modern ears, but remember that when Dumb Friends League was founded in 1910, “dumb” was mostly used to described someone who couldn’t speak. And that exactly who the league serves — pets who can’t speak up on their own behalf.
DFL works to save and shelter animals, then ultimately provide loving homes for them. In 2013, Dumb Friends League saved more than 17,000 animals and gave them second chances in welcoming homes.
Arvada Community Food Bank in Jefferson County
The Arvada Community Food Bank got its start in 1982 through the cooperation of several local churches who wanted to serve the community’s most vulnerable members. Over time, volunteers and the generosity of the community grew, and today the food bank collects and distributes 250 tons (that’s a half million pounds!) of food each year.
Food Bank of the Rockies, Denver
As above, Food Bank of the Rockies helps vulnerable members of the community have a good meal when they might not otherwise get one. According to the organization’s website, it provides around 106,000 meals every day, and 96% of all donated money goes directly to food-distribution efforts.
Energy Outreach Colorado
Energy Outreach Colorado helps individuals and families statewide keep up with their heating bills with financial assistance, help getting home furnaces fixed, and even help with people’s home energy efficiency. Since 1989, Energy Outreach has raised more than $200 million so people in Colorado can stay warm.
Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund in Lakewood
FEEA was created by federal workers in 1986 as a way to help their colleagues during times of need. For instance, through donations the FEEA has been able to provide scholarships for each child of a fallen worker in the terror attacks in Oklahoma City and at the Pentagon. Financial assistance and scholarships to date add up to nearly $20 million. Additionally, the organization makes small no-interest loans available to federal employees during personal emergencies.
Project Angel Heart in Denver
Since 1991, Project Angel Heart has been preparing and delivering nutritious meals free of charge to local people who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Project Angel Heart has chefs available, plus numerous volunteers, who make all these delicious meals from scratch.
Water for People, Denver
Water For People works to provide, safe, clean, sustainable water for communities all around the world. Its current projects are taking place in Central America, South America, sub-Saharan Africa and India.
MaxFund No-Kill Animal Shelter in Denver
A true no-kill shelter, MaxFund has to date found homes for nearly 28,000 dogs and cats. Check out MaxFund’s Facebook page for photos of some of the pets looking for a loving home.
Women’s Bean Project in Denver
Women’s Bean Project engages in social enterprise so that local women who are chronically impoverished or unemployed can begin working immediately and pull themselves up to a level of self-sufficiency. For 25 years, the Women’s Bean Project has been producing jewelry and a variety of food supplies — the latter of which is sold in local grocery stores — through the efforts of the women it employs.