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A 'Word of Thanks' from Next

Each week, we'd like to highlight a different cause that is in need.

COLORADO, USA — We’d like to begin offering a “Word of Thanks” every week during Next with Kyle Clark – it's a chance to highlight a small or medium non-profit that's doing crucial work in Colorado, and we won’t ask anyone to donate to anything that we are not donating to ourselves.

We will share the causes and donations every week within this article.

If you are not able to give but want to support the effort, please consider sharing this link with others who may feel encouraged to give. Thank you all for your consideration and generosity!

8/5/20: The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative 

The Word of Thanks that comes to mind when we think of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is "peak."

This non-profit protects Colorado's highest peaks from the wear and tear of our treks. The Colorado 14ers Initiative builds and rebuilds trails, and replants high altitude vegetation that can take decades to grow and only needs one careless step off the trail to destroy.

They usually have hundreds of volunteers helping with this work each summer, but because of social distancing in the time of the coronavirus, volunteers aren't able to help. The work is done by paid crews that are together as a unit.

Anecdotal reports suggest Coloradans and visitors are putting a lot of extra wear and tear on our outdoor spaces during the pandemic.

The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is out there protecting and restoring the natural integrity of those places we're all proud of. Their "Adopt A Peak" program this summer is working atop the peaks we can see from the Front Range, like Mount Elbert and Grays and Torreys peaks.

They have 15 total projects in the works:

  • Mount Elbert
  • Mounts Belford and Oxford
  • Missouri Mountain
  • Huron Peak
  • La Plata Peak
  • Quandary Peak
  • Grays and Torreys Peaks
  • Mount Evans
  • Mount Bierstadt
  • Capitol Peak
  • Pyramid Peak
  • Uncompahgre Peak
  • Wetterhorn Peak
  • Handies Peak
  • Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks

As always, we ask you to consider just a $5 donation, if you're able. Kyle will match the first 50 of those.

If you'd like to give, you can donate here: http://bit.ly/CFI_Donate.

7/29/20: A Little Help

The Word of Thanks that comes to mind when we think of the non-profit A Little Help is "connection." A Little Help is about connecting Coloradans who want to be of assistance with someone who doesn't have a person close by that they can count on, or who they can call on for anything they might need.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a surge of volunteerism in Colorado -- people stepping forward to help their neighbors.

Hundreds of people have particularly offered to help a group that assists older Coloradans with daily needs in the Denver area, Northern Colorado and the Roaring Fork Valley. A Little Help pairs about a thousand older adults with 2,000 volunteers who get their groceries, pick up medication, drive them to doctor appointments, and help with their yard work. At this time of year, they're even installing swamp coolers to help with the heat. 

When the pandemic hit, they also set up a check-in system to make sure these older adults are not feeling too isolated, or to see if they need help.

With donations, we can help them cover the cost of background checking their volunteers, training them, and getting them dispatched.

As always, we ask you to consider just a $5 donation, if you're able. Kyle will match the first 50 of those.

If you'd like to give, you can donate here: https://www.alittlehelp.org/donate.

UPDATE: We raised $15,609.73 for A Little Help!

7/22/20: Struggle of Love

The Word of Thanks that comes to mind when we think of the Struggle of Love non-profit is "safe."

Denver is seeing a youth violence problem this summer like we haven't seen in a while. Teenagers have become targets, even those police say aren't involved in gangs.

Struggle of Love is an impressive non-profit that's been on the ground in Montbello for more than a decade, doing community outreach, sports mentoring and even running a food bank.

The City of Denver just gave them a micro-grant to continue their work against youth violence, but our Word of Thanks campaign has the potential to give them that funding many times over to expand their work when it's needed most.

Struggle of Love Executive Director LaKeshia Hodge told us that the kids in her program in northeast Denver are often fearful -- fearful of how COVID-19 will impact their families, and fearful of how easy it is for kids their age to get guns.

This non-profit works with young people to give them not just a safe place but also the skills they need to stay out of trouble and succeed.

We have the opportunity to build on the boost that Struggle of Love just received from the city's microgrant, so they can reach more kids in northeast Denver and provide them with a safe place outside of school.

As always, we ask you to consider just a $5 donation, if you're able. Kyle will match the first 50 of those.

If you'd like to give, you can donate here: paypal.me/Struggleoflove.

UPDATE: Not only did we raise more than $20,000 for Struggle of Love, but the organization tells us they had a ton of requests from people who want to volunteer. Thank you for showing generosity in more ways than one.

7/15/20: United Way of Morgan County

The Word of Thanks that comes to mind when we think of Morgan County is "united." The people there are united, and we can all unite with them for a good cause.

Morgan County, on the Eastern Plains, has Colorado's second-highest COVID-19 rate per capita, and the COVID-19 response has drained money that would usually go to a bunch of small non-profits and groups that do vital work on a small scale.  

The United Way of Morgan County will organize our donations and get them to small non-profits that need help to continue serving that rural community -- like Baby Bear Hugs, which helps with new parent education to build safe and successful families or the Morgan County Family Center, which advocates for and assists low-income families with life's challenges.

This is our first "Word of Thanks" campaign solely focused on part of rural Colorado. As always, we ask you to consider just a $5 donation, if you're able. Kyle will match the first 50 of those.

If you're interested in giving, click here: https://mcunitedway.org/donate.

UPDATE: Next viewers raised just over $43,000 for nonprofits in Morgan County, after COVID-19 drained resources in that rural county. Thank you all!

7/8/20: Mental Health Center of Denver's STAR program

The Word of Thanks that comes to mind when we think about the STAR program is "lives." Their work truly has the potential to save lives.

Talk to police or protesters and they'll agree - police officers are not social workers, yet they often end up on calls where someone in distress needs medical or mental health support, and not an armed response.

And that brings us to Denver's new Support Team Assisted Response program, or STAR. This is a pilot program in which 911 dispatchers can send a mental health professional and a paramedic instead of an officer.

They can handle non-criminal calls, like mental health crises and overdoses, and it keeps those calls out of the hands of officers, who will readily say they're not the best equipped to handle them.

So far, STAR has handled 136 calls, none of which have escalated to a law enforcement response.

Denver Police are working with community partners including the Mental Health Center of Denver on this six-month pilot program.

Our support will allow them to expand what they can do to better serve people and to keep citizens and officers safe, and with support, we can send a strong statement that this kind of new thinking about how we respond to emergencies is worth supporting.

As always, we ask you to consider just a $5 donation, if you're able. Kyle will match the first 50 of those.

If you're interested in giving, click here: https://mhcd.org/donate-star-9news/ 

UPDATE: We raised $40,000 together for the STAR program!

7/1/20: Nurse-Family Partnership Family Fund

The word that comes to mind when you think of the Nurse-Family Partnership Family Fund is "anything."

The Nurse-Family Partnership works with first-time mothers across Colorado. Anything these they need, day or night, they can call their nurse at the Nurse-Family Partnership. It's a personal nurse dedicated to helping vulnerable first-time moms through pregnancy and the first two years.

These are women navigating the challenge of motherhood while dealing with the pressure of paying the bills to keep their young families housed, and clothed and fed.

NFP is a strong non-profit, but when a mother calls their nurse to ask for help avoiding eviction, or for money for diapers, or for groceries, or for an unexpected car repair, that's where the group's Family Support Fund comes in.

And today, that's where we come in. This is a chance to keep these first-time moms and their babies safe and supported. We're hoping you'll consider a $5 donation to the cause. Every penny will go directly to that fund (no overhead). 

As always, Kyle will match the first 50 $5 donations.

If you're interested in giving, you can make a donation here.

UPDATE: Next viewers raised more than $24,000 for the Family Support Fund!

6/24/20: PCs for People 

A word that comes to mind for PCs for People is “connection.”

This non-profit refurbishes used laptops and other devices, as well as offers low-cost internet for students. They’re launching a new initiative tonight for seniors who are staying at home right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many of these seniors, technology is the only way to connect with the people they love … and it’s something many of us take for granted. PCs for People is working to get those devices to seniors, and they’re doing it with our support.

Together, we can offer a connection to seniors who have spent months cut off from the world, and who are preparing for many months more at home.

As always, we’re just asking for $5 to help seniors make the connections we all desperately need, especially right now. Kyle will once again be matching the first 50 donations.

People can give by clicking this link: https://bit.ly/37X2Azv

UPDATE: Since Wednesday, 756 of you have donated $12,669 for @PCsforPeople. THANK YOU for your generosity. 

6/17/20: The Center on Colfax

We're calling this segment "Word of Thanks," and a word that comes to mind when we think of The Center on Colfax is "celebrate."

The Center on Colfax is the center of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.

Because of the coronavirus, they will celebrate Denver's Pride weekend virtually this year. Losing the traditional Pride parade means they lose their largest source of annual funding.

The Center has one particular program we'd like you to consider supporting: SAGE of the Rockies. It's a welcoming place for older people in the LGBTQ community -- people who are twice as likely to be single and living alone, and four times less likely to have children to connect with for support.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning LGBTQ job discrimination this week is a reminder that many people went through most or all of their working lives fearing what would happen if their boss found out who they were - or who they loved.

So, in the same week as that ruling, we're asking you to join in on celebrating and recognizing this group by supporting the SAGE program at The Center on Colfax.

As always, we're asking for you to consider even just a $5 donation. Kyle will match the first 50 of those. Let's send a clear message this year for Pride that we see, and we admire, the elders of the LGBTQ community.

You can give here: https://lgbtqcolorado.org/Next4Sage/

UPDATE: The Center on Colfax has received $43,000 from around 1,600 donors! As usual, your generosity is astounding! 

6/10/20: The Crowley Foundation

One word comes to mind when we think of The Crowley Foundation: potential.

The Crowley Foundation sees the potential in young black men in our community and comes alongside them and their families to make sure they reach that potential.

For more than a decade, they've been mentoring young men into strong community leaders - into "kings," as they like to say - with social guidance, emotional support and leadership training. Their participants graduate high school, then college, and cycle back to mentor the next generation.

They're proving to young black men that people in our community believe in them and know they can succeed.

If even just one in five Next viewers gave $5, we could allow them to expand their program to include more young men. Kyle will match the first 50 Next viewers who give just $5.

You can give here: https://crowleycollegeprep.com/donate/

UPDATE: Your donations totaled more than $54,000 - nearly one year's worth of their typical operating costs! They asked that we share their own word of thanks:

6/3/20: Civic Center Conservancy

This week, our first week, it's Civic Center Conservancy.

Civic Center Park is a one-of-a-kind, beautiful public space for people, for parties and for protests. It’s also Denver's only National Historic Landmark.

The park is seen by millions as a symbol of Denver and Colorado, and right now, it's a mess.

Civic Center Conservancy cares for the park and has lost funds it normally depends on without Civic Center Eats, which has been canceled during the pandemic.

If even just one in five Next viewers gives $5, that would cover the cost of cleaning up Civic Center Park, and Kyle will match the first 50 $5 donations.

You can give here: www.civiccenterpark.org

UPDATE: About 4,000 of you raised more than $90,000, and covered the cost of cleaning the park!

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