Van Beek: It takes a village to create opportunity |

Van Beek: It takes a village to create opportunity

As most are anxious to say goodbye to 2020, we have a new year to look forward to, and as a community, we must continue to come together, in support of those in need. Your talents and dedication have never been in greater demand.

As we prepare for a future that include some of our most cherished values, we are also challenged with new opportunities to redefine our priorities and create new traditions. We are still a country that is unique in our ability to create our own destiny. Yet, that destiny does not always come easily. Sometimes it takes a village of friends to help us through the rough times and remind us of the greatness we all have inside.

Yet, not everyone has someone nearby to help in times of stress. While, we offer many professional services, it is our community members that are our greatest asset. Often, we hear of a situation or tragic event and think, I could have done something. Well, here are some ideas that will suit all personalities and make a significant difference in someone’s life.

As we make our new year’s resolutions, please consider participating as a volunteer in one of the many wonderful organizations in Eagle County. Listed below are a few that could really use your help, but there are many more. Of course, these groups cannot operate without adequate funding, so donations are greatly appreciated, but having a caring person involved is priceless.

Our community is great because of you! Happy New Year.

Vail Mountain Rescue Group

Vail Mountain Rescue is a group of your friends and neighbors who serve as unpaid volunteers performing backcountry search and rescue activities in Eagle County. Members come from all parts of our community and include ski patrollers and backcountry guides, mountain climbers, raft guides, professional medical personnel and others with a love of the mountains.

Services provided include: Climbers in trouble, lost or injured hikers, skiers, snowboarders, stuck snowmobilers, kayakers and rafters, downed aircraft, cavers, backcountry auto accidents, hunters, mountain bikers , ATV and motorcycle riders, paragliders and horseback riders.

Fulfill your sense of adventure and head to their website:

Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Victim’s Advocates

The Victim’s Assistance Program was created to provide caring support during crisis situations to reduce physical and emotional suffering and is staffed by a full-time coordinator, offering bilingual services, and trained volunteer advocates on-call 24/7. Volunteers provide in-person and phone support throughout the entire process, including court appearances and referrals to medical, housing, mental health, and other agencies. Most important, they are there to show community support in crisis. Contact the sheriff’s office to volunteer at 970-328-8500. You will make a big difference to those in crisis.

Bright Future Foundation

BFF is Eagle County’s only 24/7 Crisis Hotline. Its goal is to empower individuals and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Volunteers are critical in helping victims become survivors. Opportunities are available to monitor the hotline or becoming a Senior Buddy. In 2016, BFF was the winner of the Nonprofit of the Year by Vail Valley Partnership. For more information, visit

Eagle River Youth Coalition

Eagle River Youth works with youth leaders, parents, schools, and community organizations to help young people build self-esteem, feel connected, and develop healthy choices. Adults and young people are encouraged to participate in their many programs and volunteers are essential to its success. For more information, visit

Hope Center

The Hope Center’s primary mission is to raise awareness of mental health concerns and in educating everyone on seeking help. Their HopeLine is open at 970-925-5858. Volunteers are always needed, particularly those who are bilingual. They offer individual counseling, crisis intervention, outpatient programs, community collaboratives, and related referrals. Sometimes the person who answers the phone is the only one between a caller in crisis and an irreversible decision. While based in the Roaring Fork Valley (Basalt), they are expanding their services to the Eagle Valley. For more information, visit

Golden Eagle Senior Center

The town of Eagle encourages the active participation of our senior population. Often, families live at a distance and remaining connected the community becomes very challenging. Volunteers are welcome to spend time, play games, watch movies, and just be someone who cares. They have provided our community something worth inheriting, please give a few hours a month, in gratitude! For more informtion, go to

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has filled in the gaps of tragedy for decades. Unexpected trauma can throw a family into chaos and the Salvation Army provides food and other essentials to help our neighbors regain their lives. We see the bell-ringers at Christmas, yet hunger knows no holidays. Help is needed year-round. Contact 970-748-0704.

American Red Cross

During our recent fires, the Red Cross was everywhere, lending a hand to families evacuated from their homes. They offered shelter, food, and comfort at every level. Most of their services are conducted by volunteers. Contact Eric Myers for information:

SpeakUp ReachOut

Speak Up, Reach Out is a group dedicated to providing suicide prevention, intervention, and loss support services, to those in need. Services offered include, suicide prevention, awareness education, community connection events, and suicide loss support services. Contact: 970-632-3858, or email

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