The Colorado GiveCamp is underway with 40 volunteers and 5 charities. Gabe Villa ( blog | twitter ), Kevin Krueger ( blog | twitter ), Jason Horner ( twitter ) and I have been organizing this event for the last several months. This is the second GiveCamp hosted in Colorado. The first was in January down in the Springs where Gabe organized a great event where we were able to help a charity move from a static HTML website to a content management system, mojoPortal. The local news was on hand throughout the weekend to cover the event back in January. Check out the KOAA video to get a sense of what a GiveCamp is all about.
This weekend, we are working with the following 5 charities.
Anchor Center for Blind Children. Founded in 1982, Anchor Center for Blind Children's staff have taught visually impaired infants, young children and families, for almost 30 years-providing hope and a nurturing environment where children reach their highest potential. Housed in a beautiful, architecturally modern building in Stapleton, Anchor Center is designed to address the learning styles of young children with vision impairments. Walk in the door and find specialized lighting, acoustics and a myriad of textures that help children find their way around. A stroll through the sensory gardens will delight all visitors as they experience bright colors, interesting textures and pleasing scents.
Children from birth through five and their families are served at this magical place. Parents begin their journey by attending programs where they and their babies learn to simply enjoy each other and get used to seeing the world using senses other than vision. By the time children turn into toddlers they, like all children, begin to think the world revolves around them. Parents begin to step back and let their children take the lead. Observers of the preschool will see rambunctious children navigating their way using canes and utilizing early Braille skills to read. Children spend time with friends learning good manners, sharing snacks and meals, gardening, tap dancing, riding tricycles, rolling down grassy hills, singing and going on field trips to ice arenas, swimming pools, fire stations and more. So that students do not lose all that they have learned over the school year, we have an extended summer program. This lets children continue their development and also allows parents and siblings the chance to participate in programming, providing them access to information and techniques to aid them in at-home therapies.
Community Ministry. For over 40 years the mission of Community Ministry has been to meet the basic needs of qualified people in Southwest Denver who are experiencing economic hardships and related problems. This is accomplished by providing:
Community Ministry was founded in 1968 by eight churches. Today twenty-five churches, area schools and community groups support the organization with in-kind and financial donations as well as volunteers. As a volunteer driven non-profit, Community Ministry is pleased to report that over 82% of its budget comes from donations, in-kind contributions, and volunteer time. The organization employs only three part-time people to oversee the entire operation. The ability to use volunteers as the primary workforce ensures cost efficiency and maximizes help to thousands needy families in Southwest Denver.
The Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking is an anti-human trafficking non-profit based in Denver, CO. Ours is not a laboratory of beakers and burners, but instead a laboratory for the exchange of innovative ideas and ongoing discussion. Our mission is to combat human trafficking at a local and global level through community-based research, training and education, leadership development, and intentional collaboration. We have a vision of developing sustainable efforts to end human trafficking by establishing community support mechanisms and serving as a catalyst for social change.
One of our exciting current research projects is the Colorado Project. Where many anti-trafficking efforts have operated in isolation, the Colorado Project seeks to foster respectful and intentional collaboration. Led by the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT), the Project Team is intentionally composed of a small group of experts who represent the 4Ps in anti-human trafficking efforts (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships). With an interdisciplinary Project Team and the oversight of a diverse national Advisory Board, we aim to build bridges between researchers and practitioners, capitalizing on the combined strength of individuals and organizations to guide and assist communities in anti-human trafficking efforts.
Partners in Routt County. The mission of Partners in Routt County (PRC) is to make a positive difference in the lives of Routt County youth by facilitating one-to-one partnerships between adult volunteers and youth. In 1996, a group of concerned community members contacted Partners Mentoring Association to receive assistance in developing a youth mentoring organization. For ten years, PRC’s sole focus was the One-to-One Mentoring Program and then in 2006, PRC began the implementation of a School-Based Mentoring Program as well. We aim to address high risk behaviors and increase protective factors in the lives of the youth in our community. PRC’s vision is that all Routt County youth will be empowered to live healthy, productive lives, contribute to their community, and successfully pursue their dreams.
Pikes Peak Young Marines. The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building, leadership, and promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Young Marines is the focal point for the U.S. Marine Corps' Youth Drug Demand Reduction efforts.
The image below is of most of the first day attendees, including volunteers and charities.