Colorado Gives 2022


Colorado Gives Day has grown to become Colorado’s largest 24-hour giving event, raising more than $362 million for Colorado since it began in 2010. Each December, Coloradans come together with the common goal to strengthen the community by helping to power local nonprofits. Community First Foundation and FirstBank partner to make this day rewarding for givers, nonprofits and the community as a whole. Although every nonprofit participating in Colorado Gives Day is worthy of support, we’ve put together a list of some that stand out this year. No matter which organizations you choose to support, remember that early giving begins on Nov. 1, and mark your calendar for the main event on Dec. 6.


This organization provides food for Colorado pets that may be at risk of being taken to a shelter by a family no longer able to afford food and care. Every dollar donated is worth $5 in pet food as well as the satisfaction of knowing that the pet is kept in its loving home and not sent to a shelter. CPP now has more than 100 pet food banks statewide as well as an Emergency Pet Food Assistance Program and the Animal Welfare Share Program. Send your donation on Colorado Gives Day so people don’t have to choose between food for their children or food for their beloved pet. | 720-441-3111

The Denver Rescue Mission feeds hungry men, women, and children, provides shelter for people experiencing homelessness, and changes lives through long-term programs. Last year, the mission provided more than 1 million meals and 351,471 nights of shelter. Its year-long New Life program graduated 80 men last year and helped hundreds of families with housing and other services. Its goal is to help lift people out of homelessness as they work toward self-sufficiency. The mission is grateful for the community support that for the past 130 years has helped it to restore families, bring hope to the hopeless and change lives. | 303-297-1815

Denver Zoo is dedicated to providing the communities it serves with an inspiring and informative firsthand encounter with the wonders of nature. The 84-acre campus is home to more than 3,000 wild animals, which serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts all over the world, as well as education and outreach teams that spark curiosity for learners of all ages. Denver Zoo has more than 3,600 mouths (and beaks) to feed! A full-time animal nutritionist designs specific diets for each species and, in some cases, individual animals. The commissary orders the highest-quality fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and supplements. The animal care team includes 10 veterinary team members, 79 keepers and 12 animal curators and supervisors who provide state-of-the-art care to the animals. As a nonprofit organization, Denver Zoo relies on your support through memberships, visits, and donations. | 720-337-1400

Freedom Service Dogs (FSD) transforms lives by partnering people with custom-trained assistance dogs. Since 1987, this Denver-based nonprofit has provided more than 550 highly skilled service dogs to clients throughout the country—including veterans with PTSD or combat-related injuries, children with autism or other neurocognitive disorders, and people with physical disabilities—completely free of charge. The dogs assist with daily tasks, such as opening doors and retrieving items, in addition to interrupting repetitive behaviors for children with autism and creating space around veterans to reduce their anxiety in crowds. Want to help transform lives? FSD urgently needs volunteer pup- py-raisers to help raise and train service-dog hopefuls, as well as volunteers to work in the nursery or foster adult dogs on weekends. Also appreciated are one-time and monthly donations, items on FSD’s Amazon Wish List, and planned gifts of all kinds. | 303-922-6231

Founded in 1918, the Junior League of Denver is a women’s training organization that has for more than a century empowered women to become civic leaders and impactful community volunteers. Having helped to start countless organizations and programs in Denver, the league is cur- rently working to disrupt the cycle of systemic poverty for women and families throughout the metro area. In 2021-22, volunteers contributed more than 3,000 hours to the community, served nearly 10,000 children and adults, distributed 5,000 books, served almost 3,500 meals, and granted $25,000 to area nonprofits. The league hosts sig- nature community programs, partners with fellow non- profits, and advocates on behalf of women and families at the Capitol. Your donation will help the Junior League continue in its important efforts. | 303-692-0270


Established in 1977 by Barbara and Marvin Davis, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation serves as the fundraising and education arm of the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. The center, located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, is one of the largest research centers in the world, specializing in Type 1 diabetes re- search and care for more than 7,600 children and adults. Among those, more than 40% are uninsured or underinsured. “With your help,” says executive director Dana Davis, “we can help keep patients healthy and one day find a cure,” Davis adds that the foundation’s holiday wish list includes monetary donations that will be used to fund critical patient programs and for gift cards from local businesses to bestow upon food-insecure patient families. The extreme cost of supplies and insulin takes a heavy toll on families affected by Type 1 diabetes. Donate to families in need so they don’t have to choose between buying life-saving insulin or being able to buy groceries or afford their rent. | 303-863-1200

For 123 years, National Jewish Health (NJH) has been at the forefront of research and medical care focused on lung, heart, immune system and related diseases. And, while many of the critical challenges of COVID-19 are easing, NJH doctors and researchers continue to care for kids and adults with long-COVID symptoms and to search for answers. Finding help and cures for many serious illnesses and bringing care to those in need now and in the future are cornerstones of the work done at National Jewish Health. Support from the community is key in continuing life-changing research and in supporting key programs such as at the Morgridge Academy, a school on the NJH campus that is unique for children with chronic illnesses. | 1-877-225-5654


For 14 years, A Precious Child has helped more than 405,000 children challenged by poverty, abuse, neglect, or crisis situations. Serving eight counties surrounding the Denver metro area by offering basic essentials, opportunities and resources through its five Cradle-to-Career Initiatives, A Precious Child helps break the cycle of poverty. Families working with the organization have reported a significant decrease in stress and improved quality of family life while children report improved mental health and a higher level of confidence. A Precious Child envisions a future where every child grows up to be a secure, self-reliant, contributing member of the community. | 303-466-4272

Amp the Cause was founded by Christie and Walter Isenberg in 2004 with the mission to support Colorado’s children and families. Historically, it has most effectively done so by financially supporting metro Denver nonprofits that directly serve these populations. Since its inception, Amp the Cause has given back more than $11 million and continues to be dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in Colorado. The organization thrives on the belief that we can do great things when we partner and come together, amplifying the impact of serving the community. Annual events and programs include Holidays for Kids, Community Day, Denver Day of Rock and Fill the Void: Amp the Cause to End Hunger, the newest addition to the organization that helps alleviate hunger by providing $250 grocery gift cards to the most vulnerable and negatively impacted families suffering from hunger and food insecurity. | 303-605-2885

The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus is a gathering place where all families in the Denver community are invited to share moments of wonder and joy. Its employees believe in kid-powered learning and work hard every day to open doors for Colorado’s future leaders, innovators and adventurers to create, explore and discover—on their own terms. The museum first opened in 1973 and has grown into a 9-acre campus with wholly unique exhibits including sky-high climbers, a Teaching Kitchen, many STEM-based activities, a multimedia Art Studio and so much more. The Children’s Museum focuses on experiences for children up to 8 years old but encourages guests of all ages to release their inner child. The museum’s annual Birthday Bash gala takes place each September. In 2023, it is celebrating 50 years of service! | 303-561-0110

For 14 years, Colorado Feeding Kids has been providing easy-to-prepare, vitamin-fortified meals and family meal boxes to local food pantries, school weekend backpack programs, churches and seniors in need. To date, it has produced and distributed more than 7.1 million meals to the hungry. All meals are packaged by volunteers at the Englewood warehouse. Colorado Feeding Kids also has provided meals to those affected by natural disasters, including victims in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and to Colorado, firefighters battling wildfires. Every bag of food can feed a family of six. Colorado Feeding Kids is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization that receives no government funding, relying solely on donations and volunteers. | 720-560-2354

Invest in Kids (IIK) works to ensure that every Colorado child has a strong start in life. Serving more than 14,000 children and families through its three evidence-based programs—Nurse-Family Partnership, The Incredible Years and Child First—IIK helps improve the health and well-being of young children experiencing poverty in all 64 Colorado counties. IIK raises funds to support its three programs and the nurses, teachers and social workers who work alongside families every day. Looking ahead to 2023, IIK is enlisting sponsors and participants for its 24th annual Jane-A-Thon ski-a-thon set for March 3-4 at Mary Jane Mountain in Winter Park. | 303-839-1808

Roundup River Ranch enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families by offering free, medically supported camp programs that provide opportunities to discover joy, friendships and confidence. Annually, thousands of children coping with cancer, blood disorders, organ transplants, and other serious conditions benefit from Roundup River Ranch’s intentional and empowering year-round camp programs. Located 21⁄2 hours from Denver near Gypsum, along the Colorado River, Roundup River Ranch is proud to be a member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, founded by actor Paul Newman. Special events planned for 2023 include the A Taste of Camp gala to be held in May in downtown Denver. Colorado residents who contribute to Roundup River Ranch may be eligible to receive up to a 50% state income tax credit through the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit. | 970-524-2267


Jewish Family Service is a nonprofit human-services organization that serves anyone in need, regardless of their circumstances or religious beliefs. Founded 150 years ago, JFS currently offers more than 30 programs and services, including food security, housing stability, mental health counseling, aging care, employment support, and disability services. JFS takes a holistic approach, assessing the various needs of the individual or family, and provides the appropriate services all from one organization. Its staff continuously evaluates the evolving challenges of our community and adapts or develops programs that respond to the resulting needs. This season, the most needed gifts are monetary donations to purchase food, support refugee resettlement services, and provide life-changing programs to those who need them most. | 303-597-5000

Volunteers of America (VOA) Colorado is a faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need transform their lives. VOA Colorado has more than 50 programs statewide that provide emergency shelter, housing, and food to nearly 100,000 state residents in need. The nonprofit distributes 1,500 food baskets each Thanksgiving and Christmas to individuals and families facing food insecurity, providing over 18,000 meals during the holiday season. In 2021, VOA Colorado provided meals and nourishment for nearly 72,000 individuals and housed more than 9,000 individuals while providing wraparound supportive services where needed. The organization supports diverse populations, including families, children, veterans, and older adults. VOA Colorado is thrilled to celebrate and host the 30th year of its signature fundraiser, Western Fantasy, which will take place in the fall of 2023. | 303-297-0408

When Arlan Preblud started We Don’t Waste out of the back of his Volvo in 2009, it was with the belief that excess food should go to people, not landfills. The organization has now grown to become the largest recovery-focused organization in Colorado. As of 2022, We Don’t Waste has recovered and distributed more than 165 million servings of quality food, equal to more than 61 million meals, to food-insecure community members—while also diverting roughly 41 million pounds of food from landfills. A variety of impactful volunteer opportunities are available each week. Fundraisers in 2023 will include the annual Fill a Plate for Hunger event and Canstruction. | 720-443-6113

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL) is a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education, and advocacy. Established in 2009, GLOBAL is the largest nonprofit in the U.S. working daily to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families. GLOBAL is part of a network of affiliates that includes the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the CU Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center—all on the Anschutz Medical Campus. GLOBAL’s signature fundraiser, the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12. To find out more and purchase tickets, please visit | 303-321-6277


Founded in 1932, Central City Opera is the fifth-oldest professional opera company and the oldest performing arts organization in Colorado. Donations to Central City Opera support world-class opera and musical theater productions, a young artist training program, and education and community engagement activities. The annual summer festival takes place in the historic Colorado mountain town of Central City, only 35 miles west of Denver, where the company owns and maintains 27 Victorian-era properties, including the intimate 550-seat jewel box opera house built in 1878. Help us keep the music playing. | 303-292-6500

Founded in 1972, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts produces and presents the best in live theater through Broadway tours, Tony-winning plays, immersive experiences, theater for young audiences, and intimate cabaret. Plus, it inspires students of all ages and welcomes locals through community-focused programs and once-in-a-lifetime events. As one of the nation’s largest nonprofit theater organizations, the DCPA engages and inspires through the transformative power of live theater. This mission is made possible by ticket sales, sponsorships, donations, and local support of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. | 303-893-4100

Founded in 1981, Opera Colorado celebrates its 40th year of bringing world-class opera to the Centennial State with the 2022-23 season. In addition to its main-stage performances at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House each season, Opera Colorado makes a commitment to the future of the art form by exploring in-person and digital initiatives with its nationally recognized artist-in-residence program that trains the next generation of opera performers. Each year, Opera Colorado reaches thousands of students and adults through statewide education and community programs. | 303-778-1500


For over 100 years, Kiwanis International Clubs have been improving the world one child and one community at a time. The Kiwanis Club of Southeast Metro Denver’s (SEMD) signature project is supporting the prevention of youth suicide in Colorado. Pediatric mental health was recently declared a crisis by leadership at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and though the rates have recently remained steady, around 100 children and teens have died by suicide each year in Colorado since 2017. This past year, Kiwanis SEMD hosted the Pints & Pinots for Youth Suicide Prevention fundraiser, which raised over $20,000 for Second Wind Fund, a local organization that provides no-cost mental health treatment to Colorado youth at risk of suicide. Other nonprofit organizations supported by Kiwanis SEMD include Colorado Feeding Kids, Clothes to Kids of Denver, Shiloh House and Welby Elementary School. | 303-263-0333

Warren Village is a nationally recognized leader in moving people from poverty toward self-sufficiency. It assists low-income, single-parent families so that they can achieve sustainable personal and economic self-sufficiency. As the cost of living in the Denver area continues to rise at an alarming rate, thousands of hard-working families are finding themselves unable to secure safe and affordable housing. Warren Village, in partnership with the Denver Housing Authority and the city and county of Denver, is stepping up to offer solutions. Since 1974, Warren Village’s housing program has helped more than 8,000 single parents and children. | 303-321-2345

Judi’s House was founded on the belief that all bereaved children and families should have access to effective and compassionate care. Former NFL quarterback Brian Griese was just 12 years old when his mother, Judi, died from breast cancer. Brian and his wife, Brook Griese, Ph.D., a clinical child psychologist specializing in trauma and loss, founded Judi’s House in her memory. This year marks the 20th anniversary of working toward their mission to help children and families who are grieving a death find connection and healing. The organization’s research arm, JAG Institute, furthers this mission through comprehensive research and training initiatives. All services, provided by skilled and licensed staff members, are offered at no cost to families and bereavement partners. Judi’s House is now operating in a new, purpose-built home, created by and for the community, at the crossroads of Aurora and Denver just east of the Stanley Marketplace. | 720-941-0331

Urban Peak ignites the potential in youth to exit homelessness and create self-determined, fulfilled lives. Urban Peak is the only organization in the Denver area providing a full convergence of services solely focused on one of the most vulnerable populations in our community: youth ages 15 through 24 who are experiencing homelessness. The challenges these young people face are hard to imagine. They have little experience living independently prior to homelessness and are often developmentally unprepared to find stability without supportive adults or safe and caring connections. Urban Peak puts these youth on a path toward self-sufficiency and success. In 2021, Urban Peak served nearly 1,000 youth through its programs, including street outreach, a drop-in center, shelter, housing, support services, and case management. Urban Peak relies on the support of generous individuals and organizations to continue this critical work. | 303-974-2900

Categories: Community/Society, Features