The defroster blasted my window as I drove in four-wheel drive down the highway the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 4, the snow coming down hard.
I marveled at where we live.
It’s exciting, I thought. Each Colorado day offers something new. That morning it was remembering how to drive in extreme winter conditions.
The unforgiving temps and snow remind me of really how rugged this place can be.
Right when the holidays set in here, the weather punctuates how it’s not the easiest place to survive. Work can be hard to come by; getting to work safely and affordably a daily challenge; affording a place to live and heating the home a struggle. Services readily available in a big city are not always available here.
But the ruggedness here is somewhat offset by a high level of philanthropy in Grand County, especially during the holidays.
Like the pioneers of the past who circled wagons or raised barns, neighbors help others by supporting various nonprofits.
And if you’ve ever sought the services or help from any of these beacons of hope, you’re more than thankful it was available here from people you know, from people close by.
On Dec. 10, giving swells as the entire state of Colorado takes part in Colorado Gives Day, and those in Grand County can take part to support essential nonprofits here.
The Community First Foundation, an Arvada-based foundation, and First Bank, Colorado’s largest locally owned bank, are entering the fourth year of raising awareness of nonprofits through online giving.
First Bank has committed $600,000 to the cause to cover credit card processing fees so that 100 percent of donations go to charities, as well as to provide prize money to nonprofits.
According to Grand County’s Grand Foundation Executive Director Megan Ledin, last year Grand Foundation raised $45,000 through the one-day Colorado Gives online effort, money that was funneled to support Grand County nonprofits. The Grand Foundation has an 8.9 percent overhead administrative cost, meaning about 90 percent of what the foundation raises goes out to the community. The Foundation operates well below the industry standard of foundations, which is 15 percent.
The Grand Foundation will again be directly involved with Colorado Gives Day, as well as local nonprofits such as the National Sports Center for the Disabled, the Grand County Council on Aging, The Grand County Historical Association, Shining Stars, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Colorado Headwaters Land Trust, Advocates, the Grand Lake Area Historical Society, Heart of the Mountain Hospice, Court Appointed Special Advocates and many others that may have nationwide chapters, such as Habitat for Humanity.
Those who visit www.cogivesday.org can find these nonprofits as well as many others. And charities can also be found by one’s passion, such as the environment, or seniors, or animals or education.
If one has a favorite Grand County nonprofit in mind that is not featured on the site, then he or she can donate to the Grand Foundation and earmark to a certain cause. The Grand Foundation will see to it that 100 percent of that Colorado Gives donation goes to the nonprofit of one’s wish.
The site is easy, just a couple clicks to donate, and more than one nonprofit can be selected in one sitting. Donors can have peace of mind that every single charity on the site has been thoroughly vetted — IRS tax status, secretary of state reporting and 501(c)3 status in good standing.
In celebration of the season of giving, starting in today’s Sky-Hi News, each week in partnership with the Grand Foundation we will be featuring a Grand County nonprofit to introduce to you our readers the reach of support right here at home.
By doing so, it is my hope we are consistently reminded throughout the year of the gentle under layer of this rough and weather-beaten Rocky Mountain community.