Bright Future Foundation receives a $10,000 grant |

Bright Future Foundation receives a $10,000 grant

Melanie Wong

EAGLE COUNTY — The Bright Future Foundation was among a select group of domestic violence organizations from around the country that received a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation earlier this month.

The funds will go toward the Foundation’s Freedom Ranch safe house, crisis hotline and especially help with the foundation’s prevention work.

“We realize that we’ve done a great job of providing services, and need to focus on long-term healing and recovery. But on the front-end, we need to focus on prevention or we’ll never get ahead of the issue,” said Bright Future Foundation executive director Sheri Mintz.

The Foundation has started a number of education and prevention programs in Eagle County schools, including EmpowerMENt, a 27-week program for middle school boys that teaches healthy relationship skills and leadership. Another program reaches girls at Red Canyon High School.

This year alone, Verizon has issued a total of more than $141,083 in grants for survivors in Colorado and the surrounding states. Bright Future Foundation was among about a dozen other domestic violence programs that received the grants, said Meagan Dorsch of Verizon Wireless public relations.

“The key points for us was that they have a very strong programs, and they are the only organization for domestic violence and sex-assault victims in Eagle County,” she said. “ They serve men, women and children — they cover it all.”

As part of the grant, Mintz attended a summit of thought leaders in domestic violence prevention in California. Summit attendees discussed the newest studies, advances in direct services and other ways to combat domestic violence, which impacts one out of every three people in the United States.

This year marks the Bright Future Foundation’s 30th year in the valley, and this month marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Through Verizon’s Hopeline program, you can bring your old, unused cell phone to any Verizon store, and the phones will be refurbished and resold, with the proceeds going to victims of domestic violence.

While the Bright Future Foundation doesn’t have any specific events surrounding the month, Mintz points out that it is a great time to get involved with the organization’s Buddy Mentor program. The program, modeled after Big Brother, Big Sister programs, pairs adult mentors with a child between the age of 6 to 16. They encourage at least a year-long commitment — it may seem like a long time, but Mintz said the difference the influence can make in a child’s life is profound.

“There’s a lot of research that shows that kids who work with a mentor exhibit better pro-social behavior and stay in school longer,” she said.

Support Local Journalism