Ready, set, give: Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday |

Ready, set, give: Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday

Daily staff report
Students from Eagle Valley High School learn how to produce a live television program during High Five Access Media’s recording of its show, The Community Project.

EAGLE COUNTY — The clock is ticking on the biggest single day in Colorado philanthropy.

The seventh annual Colorado Gives Day is on Tuesday. On that date, nonprofit groups around the state benefit from a focused period of online giving. The day was initiated by the Community First Foundation, and on that day, FirstBank handles the transactions, and there are some matching funds available.

This year, 52 local nonprofit groups are participating. Here’s a look at the roster of worthy causes.

High Five Access Media

High Five Access Media’s mission is to empower the local community, through media education and technology, to become civically engaged, express ideas and advocate for causes.

The organization is a nonprofit, noncommercial, community access television station offered on Comcast Channel 5. All programming also is available at

High Five Access Media is known for its coverage of local government. But a large portion of the organization’s mission is to provide free access to video training, production equipment and cable and internet distribution.

High Five Access Media every month teaches up to six Eagle County residents, students and nonprofits how to operate cameras, microphones and computer video editing software. Once participants complete the workshops, they may check out the equipment to create video that expresses their ideas or advocate for a nonprofit’s cause.

Workshops, equipment checkout and cable and internet distribution are offered for free. Donations to this program ensure High Five Access Media can fund a video trainer, as well as purchase cameras, audio equipment, computers and more.

With the help of donations, High Five Access Media also can offer low-cost video production services to nonprofits so they might advance their causes.

High Five Access Media created more than 25 videos for local nonprofits participating in Eagle County Gives this year. These videos enable the nonprofits to get the word out about Colorado Gives Day.

Go to for more information or make a donation at

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire young people to succeed in a global economy. Junior Achievement accomplishes this work by partnering with thousands of business volunteers to implement programs that teach kindergarten through 12th grade students to be workforce ready, entrepreneurial and financially literate. Junior Achievement complements the hard work and dedication of educators by helping young people make the connection between academics and professional success.

During the 2016-17 school year, Junior Achievement plans to inspire 3,000 young people in Eagle County schools to own their future economic success thanks to the efforts of more than 100 local volunteers. Our latest impact study proves that:

• Junior Achievement students are 30 percent more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree and secure employment at higher rates than the general population.  

• Junior Achievement alumni earn 20 percent more than the general population.

• Junior Achievement alumni are 2.5 times more likely to own or have had an ownership stake in a business than the general population.

Overall, Junior Achievement provides young people with critical, disruptive experiences that expand student’s notions of what they are capable of, develops their character and confidence and ultimately prepares them to become self-sufficient adults.

For more information, please go to

The Literacy Project

Do you remember the day you arrived in Eagle County? Perhaps you needed to find housing and sign a lease. Enroll a child in the Eagle County School District. Set up a post office box. Get a library card. Fill out job applications, both on paper and online.

Now imagine you had to complete all of these tasks without the ability to read or write English.

The Literacy Project of Eagle County invites you to support us on Eagle County Gives Day in our mission to help our community read well, speak well and live well. The Literacy Project is a volunteer-based nonprofit that empowers community members of all ages by offering free assistance in acquiring the literacy and English language skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives.

Our organization has over 25 years of experience in Eagle County, helping native English speakers improve their reading and writing skills, and helping non-native speakers with their English as a second language skills. We believe that literacy is the most powerful weapon we have against poverty, unemployment, poor health and inadequate housing. A person’s ability to rise above these barriers is directly related to their ability to speak and read well.

It is estimated that 1,500 illiterate adults live in Eagle County, which means our area has the highest percentages of English language learners in Colorado at 34.6 percent, compared to the state average of 14.4 percent. The Literacy Project currently serves over 200 adult learners and over 600 young people throughout Eagle County.

Mind Springs Health

At Mind Springs Health, we save and rebuild lives in our mountain communities by providing exceptional mental health and addiction recovery care. We passionately believe that everyone, regardless of circumstance or background, should have access to care when they need it the most. We offer a full mental health continuum of care inclusive of prevention, care and recovery services, mobile crisis response, vocational, residential, rehabilitation, peer services, education and trainings, outpatient and inpatient treatment (West Springs Hospital). Compassion, communication, collaboration and vision are all components of our commitment to providing exceptional care 24/7/365.

Our organization’s service region spans 10 counties and 23,000 square miles, approximately 25 percent of the state of Colorado. In 2015, 22,811 people received life-giving and life-transforming services, 7 percent more people than last year. Two of our 13 outpatient offices are operated in the Vail Valley — Eagle and Vail. Those two offices in 2015 saw more than 1,400 individuals, 18 percent more than the previous year. Additionally, we provided 399 crisis services in the Vail Valley in 2015.

The need is growing in the Vail Valley, and we, too, are constantly growing to meet those needs.

• We now have 11 clinicians working in our outpatient offices, area schools, on our mobile crisis team, in the jail and at Mountain Family Health Center.

• We have a child and adolescent psychiatrist and an advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner.

For more information, go to mindsprings, or email philanthropy

Mountain Valley Horse Rescue

For more than 10 years, Mountain Valley Horse Rescue has been healing abused and neglected horses, and the horses have been healing people right back.

Founded in Eagle County in 2004 in response to abandoned horses discovered in the Flat Tops, Mountain Valley Horse Rescue has grown to care for over 30 horses annually.

Each horse receives medical treatment and training to be returned to full health with the goal of being adopted into a loving home. During their rehabilitation, the horses give back to the community by interacting with the over 1,000 youth who visit the rescue annually to take part in service work and experiential learning.

The horses also participate in equine-assisted therapy. Mountain Valley Horse Rescue recently started a program for veterans and plans to expand therapy programming to additional groups, including victims of domestic violence and those struggling with substance abuse.

One of the therapy horses is Jackie, who came to the rescue after being saved from a slaughter auction in 2014. Jackie was pregnant and soon gave birth to a handsome colt named Indy — a lucky boy who was adopted and is being trained to work for the U.S. Forest Service. Jackie remained with the rescue and has stolen the hearts of everyone she meets with her gentle demeanor.

Mountain Valley Horse Rescue will never have to worry about what will happen to Jackie and her horse friends at the rescue because this past summer, we purchased a forever home in McCoy, allowing for increased horse capacity and program growth. With this permanent property, Mountain Valley Horse Rescue will be able to ensure there is always a safe place for unwanted horses like Jackie.

Go to for more information.

Our Community Foundation

Our Community Foundation was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to improve our mountain communities through a focus on underserved populations and inspired philanthropy.

We make Eagle County a better place to live and work by validating and supporting programs designed to help vulnerable families. We also foster the collaborative strategies of our local nonprofits such as Eagle County Gives.

What we do:

• Work to improve the quality of life for local residents.

• Serve as a civic hub and center of information.

• Create a framework for funding critical programs that solve problems.

• Connect donors to local issues.

How we do it:

Increase the awareness of local programs and solutions.

Facilitate collaborative relationships across the community.

Build the capacity of local nonprofit organizations.

Inspire targeted philanthropy.

Our Community Foundation is sponsoring 10 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers (Volunteers in Service to America) to work on projects related to poverty. To learn more about the program or offer VISTA support with in-kind donations, contact program director Susie Davis by emailing

A growing number of local families are supporting this traditional community foundation to serve the people of Eagle County. This is a unique opportunity to become a Founding Family at Our Community Foundation! To learn more about how you can help Our Community Foundation, email Mike Rushmore, a founder and chairman of the board of directors,

Roundup River Ranch

Roundup River Ranch is where a child with a serious illness can take a vacation from being a patient and get back to being a kid. We serve children ages 17 and under from an 11-state Rocky Mountain Region who have been diagnosed with a serious illness. Diagnosis groups include: cancer, organ transplants, neurologic conditions and other serious illnesses.

Campers receive comprehensive, individualized medical care in a state-of-the-art facility stocked with all the medical equipment and supplies needed to provide urgent, emergent and routine pediatric care. Care is delivered by a diverse group of medical professionals who leave their lab coats and scrubs behind to join the medical team at camp.

At Roundup River Ranch, there’s no age limit on silliness, laughter or needing a break from the real world. New friendships are formed, confidence and joy are discovered, and life-changing memories are made. Families are invited to come to camp for weekends of fun, friendship and rejuvenation so they, too, can simply focus on the joy of being together and creating cherished memories.

Camp is always free of charge for all kids and their families thanks to the generosity of individuals like you. Colorado residents who donate to Roundup River Ranch may be eligible to receive an additional 50 percent state income tax credit through the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit.

Roundup River Ranch needs people like you to attend camp, volunteer and donate. Every year, hundreds of volunteers and generous donors make camp possible. For more information, please visit us online at

Red Ribbon Project

Join Red Ribbon Project during its 20-year anniversary for its biggest fundraising day on Dec. 6. Your donation makes it possible for Red Ribbon Project to continue the movement for youth sexual health, and to build on the incredible progress in our community — including the record-breaking decline in unintended teen birth rates, and the fact that more schools than ever before have access to comprehensive sex education. With your support, you can help increase Red Ribbon Project’s reach and create a community where all youth have the information and resources to make educated decisions about their sexual health.

Red Ribbon Project in 2015 was able to reach an estimated 1,560 youth through either comprehensive sex ed or our teenage pregnancy prevention program. A key component when working with young people is simple awareness: teaching them to understand their bodies — both the physical and emotional components.

Thousands of local students have benefitted from the opportunity to learn about what is happening to their bodies as they become adolescents and how to keep themselves healthy, safe and proud of the decisions they make. This year, show your support and help Red Ribbon Project continue to advance the movement for youth sexual health in Eagle County.

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