Local charities gear up for Colorado Gives Day

Participating Jeffco nonprofits number more than 1,660

Posted 11/28/17

An old saying goes: A rising tide lifts all boats. And such is true on Colorado Gives Day. “We always say giving to your local community is best because you’re helping your neighbors,” said …

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Local charities gear up for Colorado Gives Day

Participating Jeffco nonprofits number more than 1,660

Posted

An old saying goes: A rising tide lifts all boats.

And such is true on Colorado Gives Day.

“We always say giving to your local community is best because you’re helping your neighbors,” said Randy Weinert, development manager for Arvada Community Food Bank. “And if we’re helping the people in our community, we’re helping all of the community.”

Colorado Gives Day — Dec. 5 this year — is an annual, statewide event that dedicates one day to increasing philanthropy through online giving.

“On this one day, every year, all of Colorado gets to help Colorado,” said Karen Allen, executive director of Colorado Homeless Families.

More than 2,300 nonprofits and charities from across the state are participating, and more than 1,660 of them are based in or have reach in Jefferson County.

A number of those work hard to help Jeffco’s homeless population.

“Affordable housing for our homeless families is crucial,” Allen said. “Colorado Gives Day is a great opportunity to help.”

Colorado Homeless Families has been involved with Colorado Gives Day since 2011. The nonprofit, which is headquartered in Arvada but serves the greater seven-county metro area, helps provide transitional housing and supportive services to families in need.

“All of them are working families,” Allen said, “they just can’t afford housing in this housing crisis.”

Colorado Homeless Families’ goal is to target the root cause of homelessness by equipping families with the tools and opportunities they need to achieve self-sufficiency.

In fact, in the 30 years the nonprofit has been in existence, 167 people went from homelessness to home ownership, Allen said.

Family Tree, based in Wheat Ridge, is another organization working to support individuals and families who are struggling for a variety of reasons.

Eighty-two percent of every dollar that Family Tree receives goes towards the nonprofit’s programs and services, said Carrie Zwanzig, Family Tree’s director of grants and communications.

That means the percentage of its $40,000 goal to be donated on Colorado Gives Day will go a long way, Zwanzig added.

Family Tree’s programs and services help individuals, families and communities overcome and end child abuse, domestic violence and homelessness. It runs one homeless shelter in Arapahoe County that serves all of the Denver-metro area and operates the only domestic violence emergency shelter in Jefferson County.

“Giving on Colorado Gives Day is an important partnership among all Coloradoans to give back to the communities they are a part of,” Zwanzig said.

But not only that, she said, the day gives people the opportunity to learn about new charities and explore nonprofits they may not know about.

Last year, the Arvada Community Food Bank, which serves northern Jefferson County, received $58,098 in donations on Colorado Gives Day. In 2015, the amount was $66,835, Weinert said.

“So many people save their donations specifically for Colorado Gives Day. It’s a great day to give,” he said. “It’s well-placed for both holiday giving and end-of-year giving.”

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