It’s the season of giving, and many in our community could use a helping hand. Want to brighten a child’s holiday, put food on an empty table, provide essential community resources, or help conservation efforts? Here are seven ways to give back to our local Colorado community throughout the holidays and beyond!
1. Help Brighten A Child’s Holiday
The Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to fighting homelessness and helping families in Boulder. Much of their work revolves around providing community services, financial aid, food, and other assistance to local families in need. The holidays can be challenging for families already trying to make ends meet.
For Giving Tuesday, Sherpani wanted to give back to our local community and families nearby. This year we donated over two hundred bags to EFAA filled with toiletries for Boulder locals!
You can help the EFAA brighten a child’s holiday by sponsoring a gift for their Holiday Gift Room. A complete list of needed items and drop-off locations can be found on their Holiday Gift Room page. Gifts can also easily be sent through their Amazon Wishlist.
If you are looking for other ways to help support the EFAA throughout the holidays and beyond, their food bank is always in need of donations. Visit their food donation page for all the ways you can help put food on the table for those in need!
2. Clean Out Your Closet And Help A Woman In Need Dress For Success
Dress For Success Denver is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that aims to bring women out of poverty and into new careers. They provide career coaching and professional attire to help women transition into new occupations. Since they began their mission in 2006, Dress For Success Denver has helped over 18,000 women!
You can help Dress For Success Denver provide these life-changing services by donating gently used professional clothing to their boutique or giving a monetary contribution. Instructions for dropping off clothes or donating can be found on their donations page.
Hosting a suit drive at your business, school, charity, or place of worship is another way to help. For more information on hosting a suit drive visit their donation drive page.
3. Empower Youths In Indigenous Communities Across Colorado
Many Native American communities in Colorado and surrounding states are severely underserved and underrepresented. Spirit of the Sun, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, aims to change that. They provide important resources and support to empower youths in Colorado’s Indigenous communities.
Spirit of the Sun sponsors numerous programs, from youth mentorships, art, sports, and financial courses, to farming and food drives. They also host a 10-week Indigenous Youth Regenerative Agriculture Certification Program every summer.
Financial contributions to help fund these programs can be made through their donation page. They also need volunteers for food drive deliveries to native communities. Can you spare a few hours to help deliver food? You can sign up on their volunteer page!
4. Get Outdoors And Help Preserve Colorado’s Natural Resources
Who doesn't want to spend some time outdoors in beautiful Colorado? And doing it for a good cause– even better! Volunteers For Outdoors Colorado (VOC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been helping preserve Colorado’s natural resources since 1984. They are the oldest outdoor stewardship nonprofit in the state.
VOC engages a network of volunteers for outdoor preservation projects across the state. Everything from trail maintenance and forestry management to fire and flood restoration and tree planting. VOC oversees around 100 projects a year across Colorado's vast wilderness.
There are many ways to volunteer with VOC; check their volunteer project page for upcoming projects near you. You can also support the organization by purchasing VOC’s trendy tees, hats, and mugs through their online store.
5. Join The Super Species Squad To Help Colorado Wildlife
Colorado is home to incredible wildlife, such as elk, bison, bears, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. Sadly, many species face challenges to their survival. Rocky Mountain Wild, a 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organization, is trying to mitigate some of those threats.
Rocky Mountain Wild leads scientific studies to identify issues and prepare solutions for some of the biggest threats to wildlife in the state. Their work includes the Colorado Corridors Project, which aims to build wildlife passageways in high-traffic areas to reduce automobile collisions with wildlife.
You can help fund their initiatives by becoming a member of the Super Species Squad. This monthly donation program helps save wildlife, and members get exclusive access to special events, discounts on merchandise, and opportunities to win prizes. One-time donations are also accepted (and appreciated!) through their donation page.
Further volunteer opportunities are available through their community science program. Volunteers can be part of research teams that record wildlife activity and collect study data. They help study migration patterns and track the spread of diseases affecting wildlife.
6. Giving Year-Round
While the holidays are always a good time to give, those in need often face challenges throughout the year. If you can–consider donating to your local food banks year-round. More than 34 million people face food insecurity in the US every year.
Community Food Share is a food bank fighting hunger in Boulder and Broomfield counties by providing access to fresh, nutritious food through local partners and its onsite and mobile partners. You can learn more about how to donate to Community Food Share by checking out their donations page.
Coretta Scott King once said: “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” Remember the wise words of Mrs. King and do what you can, when you can, to help your community!
If you can’t donate, you can help spread the word by sharing charitable causes on social media, organizing fundraisers, or volunteering at local food banks or homeless shelters.
7. Help Support Healthy Oceans
The Blue Verve Project is a non-profit started by Sherpani. Blue Verve’s mission is to inspire individuals and organizations to eliminate ocean-bound plastic pollution at the source. This is done through raising consciousness, providing educational resources, and supporting meaningful action. We believe that healthy marine ecosystems are vital to human health and the enjoyment of our planet. An easy way to give back? Check out our Open Your Eyes Collection! Every product in the Open Your Eyes Collection is made from recycled plastic that may have otherwise been bound for the ocean. OYE donates 25% of its profit back to Blue Verve.
Written by Lauren Rey, December 2022