DENVER — In June 2020, Next with Kyle Clark’s “Word of Thanks” micro-giving campaign began.
Since then, Next viewers have donated millions of dollars to help small- and medium-sized non-profits in Colorado, including an animal hospital, wildfire recovery groups and mentoring programs.
The project is ongoing, as we look to help even more of our neighbors each week.
You can take a look at the groups we helped in 2020 in the list below. You can see our current work for the 2021 year here.
RELATED: A 'Word of Thanks' from Next
>> 2020 tax information: If you're looking for the tax ID for any of these causes, we compiled a list with all of them.
6/3/20 | Civic Center Conservancy: In our first week of Word of Thanks, we raised $90,000 to clean up Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, the city's only National Historic Landmark. Civic Center Conservancy cares for the park and lost funds it normally depends on without Civic Center Eats, the weekly food truck event that was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were particularly needed for clean-up following the racial injustice protests in 2020.
6/10/20 | The Crowley Foundation: You raised more than $54,000 for The Crowley Foundation in Denver. This group works with young Black men, mentoring them, tutoring them and helping them become leaders in the community in hopes that they return the favor for the next generation. The donations collected during this one week covered one year's worth of operating costs for the nonprofit.
6/17/20 | The Center on Colfax: In honor of Pride Month, we raised $43,000 for The Center on Colfax, which is the center of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community in Denver. When the coronavirus pandemic canceled Denver's 2020 Pride Parade, the group lost a massive source of annual funding that it usually relies on. This week, we particularly focused our donations on the nonprofit's SAGE of the Rockies program. It serves as 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.
6/24/20 | PCs for People: This non-profit refurbishes used laptops and other devices, and offers low-cost internet for students. In the week we highlighted this organization, it was launching a new initiative for seniors who were forced to stay home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of them, technology became the only way to connect with the people they love. We raised more than $17,000 so that PCs for People could get devices to local seniors and help them feel connected.
7/1/20 | Nurse-Family Partnership Family Fund: The Nurse-Family Partnership works with first-time mothers across Colorado. Anything they need, day or night, they can call a nurse who is dedicated to helping the vulnerable first-time moms through pregnancy and the first two years of motherhood. These moms are women taking care of their babies while also dealing with the pressure of paying the bills to keep their young families housed, clothed and fed. NFP is a strong non-profit, but when a mother calls their nurse to ask about extra needs like avoiding eviction, getting groceries or taking care of an unexpected car repair, the group's Family Support Fund comes in and gets them the help they need. You all collected more than $24,000 to help the cause.
7/8/20 | Mental Health Center of Denver's STAR program: Police officers are not social workers, yet they often end up on calls where someone in distress needs medical or mental health support instead of an armed response. Denver's new Support Team Assisted Response program, or STAR, 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. Our $40,000 in donations went toward helping them expand what they can do to better serve people and to keep citizens and officers safe.
7/15/20 | United Way of Morgan County: Morgan County, on the Eastern Plains, had Colorado's second-highest COVID-19 rate per capita when we highlighted the local United Way in early July. The COVID-19 response drained money that would usually go to a bunch of small non-profits and groups there that do vital work on a small scale. We raised $43,000 for United Way of Morgan County, which got the money to those small non-profits that needed help to continue serving that rural community -- groups 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.
7/22/20 | Struggle of Love: 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. Over the summer, Executive Director LaKeshia Hodge told us that the kids in her program in northeast Denver were 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. We raised $20,000 for this group to help them support young people, not just giving them a safe place but also the giving skills they need to stay out of trouble and succeed.
7/29/20 | A Little Help: A Little Help connects Coloradans to others who need help. Maybe it's someone who doesn't have another person close by that they can count on, or someone who needs a person to call on for any little thing they might need. The group pairs about a thousand older adults with volunteers who can get their groceries, pick up medication, drive them to doctor appointments and help with their yard work. When the pandemic hit, they also set up a check-in system to make sure these older adults are not feeling too isolated. You raised more than $15,000 to help cover the costs of background-checking volunteers, training them and getting them dispatched.
8/5/20 | The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative: The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative protects Colorado's highest peaks from the wear and tear of our treks. It 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 couldn't help in 2020. And anecdotal reports suggested Coloradans and visitors put extra wear and tear on outdoor spaces during the pandemic. Maintenance fell to paid crews that worked together as a unit. We raised $10,342 to help this group take care of Colorado's peaks.
8/12/20 | Newborns in Need: Newborns in Need makes sure that every newborn leaving Denver Health – especially those from low-income families -- has what they need for a good beginning. For every family, that’s a basket with diapers, wipes, clothes, a book and a stuffed animal, so that no child starts life without those things. For families that need extra help, Newborns in Need provides a car seat, stroller and crib. Your donations gave $28,500 to this nonprofit.
8/19/20 | Wildland Firefighter Foundation: We can tell the wildland firefighters working to save lives and property across the state that we have their backs. But we decided to show them. You raised more than $90,800 to support firefighters who are injured while fighting a wildfire, as well as their families. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation does that for wildland firefighters throughout the Mountain West because Colorado’s firefighters often travel to other states, and firefighters from other states often work here. This nonprofit was created after the Storm King Fire that killed 14 firefighters outside Glenwood Springs in 1994. That's why the group also responds if a firefighter is killed, making sure their family can get by before benefits arrive.
8/26/20 | Colorado Youth for a Change: Colorado's dropout rate is a concern in a normal year, but the pandemic put added stress on students who might decide just to walk away from classrooms or remote learning. Colorado Youth for a Change has re-enrollment specialists with years of experience helping students who have left the school system come back and graduate. They got more than 400 kids back in to graduate in 2019. You raised $20,200 to help this team of specialists that works with 17 school districts along the Front Range, north to Estes Park and south to Colorado Springs.
9/2/20 | Dumb Friends League Solutions – Veterinary Hospital: Dumb Friends League Solutions – Veterinary Hospital provides low-cost treatments so that pet owners don't have to give up or put down a pet that can recover with the proper care. The demand for their services is overwhelming, especially because of the economic hardships caused by the pandemic. Six full-time vets are on staff, and people pay what they can instead of surrendering their pets because of finances. Dumb Friends League runs this clinic at a loss and never turns someone away because they cannot pay. Together, we raised $93,000 to support them.
9/9/20 | District 6 Food for Success: Lunch debt gets paid off one of two ways: either families that are often struggling will come up with the money, or the district has to cover it, taking money from other programs. That led us to the Greeley-Evans School District, the twelfth-largest district in Colorado. The district and its nonprofit foundation, District 6 Food for Success, know food fuels learning, so kids aren't shamed if they can't pay for lunch. Students in need get the same meal as other students, and no one knows any different. The lunch debt here is incurred by families that are often just above the income line to qualify for free or reduced meals. Our $96,000 in donations knocked out more than half of the $147,000 owed.
9/15/20 | The Second Wind Fund: Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth in Colorado. The Second Wind Fund, a Denver-based nonprofit, connects young people who are at risk for suicide with therapists who can help save their lives. This group works fast, cutting through red tape and insurance hurdles to get kids quickly matched with therapists. The nonprofit will pay any bills that result. They've been doing this for 18 years and work in 30 of Colorado's counties. This nonprofit estimates it can save a life for about $1,000, and we were able to help. You raised more than $50,000 this week.
If someone in your life is in crisis today and needs immediate help, Colorado Crisis Service is available 24-7. You can call 844-493-8255, or text the word "TALK” to 38255.
9/23/20 | Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley: With one paid employee and a group of volunteers, the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley reaches Coloradans in a persistently poor part of our state. One in four people in the Valley uses the local food pantries to feed their families. There are 15 locations spread out across the San Luis Valley, land that equals the size of Massachusetts, so that people aren't driving 50 miles just to get fresh food. The food banks are run by La Puente, an established non-profit in the San Luis Valley. Their director says they often feel isolated from the Front Range -- isolated from the benefits of Colorado's usually strong economy and from the help we provide each other in the metro area. Together, we were able to give $90,000 to fill the food banks of the San Luis Valley.
9/30/20 | Metro Caring: Metro Caring is a non-profit in Denver focused on feeding families in need of fresh, nutritious food, as well as enriching lives with cooking and health classes. This group not only wants to feed people, but also wants to fight the root causes of poverty that bring people in looking for food in the first place. To be blunt, Metro Caring told us they had never before seen need like the need in 2020. The number of families looking for food increased three times over, and this nonprofit required plenty of supply to serve the community. Together, we were able to give them more than $53,000.
10/7/20 | SafeHouse Denver: SafeHouse Denver saves the lives of people facing abuse. They strategize a safe way for these people to leave an abusive situation through their 24/7 crisis line, and provide temporary housing for women, children, and men escaping abuse through their emergency shelter. SafeHouse Denver said the calls to its crisis line since the pandemic started indicated that more severe physical abuse was happening in our community, though the pandemic also impacted SafeHouse Denver's funding. When courts closed, victim assistance fees that go to SafeHouse Denver dried up; $42,000 in funding disappeared. But this funding, which helps people leave abusive situations and protects them once they're out, is needed. We nearly erased this need with $39,000 in donations.
One in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to SafeHouse Denver’s stats. If you or someone you know needs immediate help getting out of an abusive situation, you can reach SafeHouse Denver's 24/7 crisis line is 303-318-9989.
10/14/20: Project Worthmore: For nearly a decade, Project Worthmore has welcomed refugees to Colorado by helping families trying to establish a fresh start in America build a foundation for self-sufficiency. This includes help with English classes and help to navigate public services. There’s now a food bank, too. This nonprofit’s goal is to help refugees feel welcome, connected, and ready to thrive on their own in America. Colorado has about 60,000 residents who came here as refugees. We've always been a magnet for people fleeing dangerous situations abroad because our community has been so welcoming. The Next community raised more than $30,600 to help Project Worthmore continue its work.
10/21/20 | Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming: It's not even a contest. You raised more for this cause than any other we have supported. At $536,464 the response was huge, and for good reason. The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming set out to provide comfort and care to the thousands of Coloradans forced out of their homes by the Cameron Peak Fire, the CalWood Fire, the Lefthand Canyon Fire and others that burned in the fall. The Red Cross gave our neighbors food and a place to stay when they needed it most.
10/28/20 | Grand Foundation, Community Foundation of Boulder County and Larimer County United Way: Hundreds of Coloradans lost their homes in the 2020 wildfires, and there will be long-term needs in Boulder, Grand and Larimer counties because of it. Each area has its own separate, dedicated fund to help its citizens impacted by the wildfires, but we found a way to help all three at once. The Grand Foundation, the Community Foundation Boulder County and the Larimer County United Way's wildfire fund are the three main non-profits prepared to provide long-term help to people who lost their homes and businesses. The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado collected our donations and split them between the counties, without any overhead fees, and they even gave us $5,000 to get us started. When all was said and done, we raised more than $224,000 for the effort in these counties.
11/4/20 | Community Foundation of Northern Colorado: Downstream from the burn areas of the largest fires in Colorado history is the drinking water supply for Northern Colorado. The fires of 2020 stripped away the vegetation that holds hillsides in place. If they come down in spring and summer rains, it's a danger to the people nearby and to the water supply for Northern Colorado. The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado was behind the urgent effort to prevent erosion into the rivers, streams and mountain reservoirs. We raised $42,633 to help them protect the water supply.
11/11/20 | Project Sanctuary: Veterans are 50% more likely to die by suicide than the rest of the population, and Project Sanctuary provides life-changing, lifesaving support for Colorado's veterans and their families. That type of care allows families to heal together from the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder and transition together to a peaceful life at home. Project Sanctuary connects veterans and their families with the resources they need, both short-term and long-term, to succeed after service. It’s also worth noting that this group was founded in Grand County, and one of the lodges where they've held veteran retreats was lost in the 2020 wildfires. But they were determined to push ahead. We raised more than $62,000 to help them do just that.
11/18/20 | Denver Indian Center: For almost 40 years, the Denver Indian Center has had a tradition of celebrating heritage while also helping the vulnerable in the native community. The food bank run out of the nonprofit's location in West Denver has seen a 400% increase in need during the pandemic. And while COVID changed how they operate, Denver Indian Center is still finding new ways to honor and support its elders. In 2020, that included hosting a drive-up Thanksgiving dinner distribution, open to all. We raised more than $67,000 to help this nonprofit replenish its food bank so that it could continue serving through the holiday season.
11/25/20 | SECOR Cares: The roots of SECOR Cares go back to the 1990s in Parker, and for years, they have fought against hidden poverty. They have a strong focus on feeding hungry families in places like Douglas, Arapahoe and Elbert counties, and throughout Denver's suburbs. The need quadrupled after the pandemic began. We raised more than $84,000 to help.
12/2/20 | Family Tree: Family Tree understands that homelessness for families is often linked to domestic abuse and child abuse, so they address all three issues at once. Since 1976, this non-profit has been in the metro area connecting women and their children who are homeless with a safe place to stay and getting them into housing. The Next community was able to provide them with an extra $52,258.
12/9/20 | Friends of DHA: Making sure kids have a happy holiday was harder than ever in 2020 because of the pandemic. Even so, the people at Friends of DHA wanted to make sure kids living in Denver's subsidized housing had a holiday gift. Normal traditions had to shift because of the pandemic, so Friends of DHA vowed to get kids $25 gift cards to places selling toys for delivery or curbside pickup. The plan was to start with the first family to ask for help and the staff would work its way down the list, getting gift cards for as many kids as possible. When the money ran out, the families further down the list would have to go without. Because you raised more than $147,000 for Friends of DHA, you not only provided a gift card for every child living in Denver's public housing, but you also raised money to go toward groceries for these families.
12/16/20 | Angel Relief Fund: Restaurant and hospitality workers have been hurting during the pandemic. They are people who rely on tips to make a living and are having trouble paying their bills. The Angel Relief Fund is the foundation arm of the Colorado Restaurant Association. It has tried to support workers in this industry when they have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19 by providing grants of up to $1,000 to waiters, cooks, dishwashers -- anyone in that line of work that's in trouble right now. This is money that helps them pay for mortgages, utility bills, car repairs and more. You were able to provide a massive tip during the holiday season, raising more than $94,700.
12/23/20 | Frontline Foods Denver: When the pandemic started, Frontline Foods Denver was busy getting meals to frontline workers in Colorado like hospital employees and EMTs. The nonprofit is a chapter of the national Frontline Foods organization, which started as a grassroots initiative in March 2020 to provide food from restaurants to these workers, and even communities nationwide that were heavily impacted by the pandemic. Since then, the organization partnered up with World Central Kitchen to streamline the donation process and grow. With donations, money turned into revenue for struggling local restaurants, as well as meals for the people working hard during COVID-19. But donations slowed after a while. You raised more than $162,000 to help ramp up the effort during the holiday season.
12/30/20: Family Promise: Family Promise helps families in the Denver metro area that are homeless find temporary housing, and then a permanent home. We raised more than $184,000 for this nonprofit so that they could help families bridge the gap from home to home, paying not just for temporary shelter in a hotel or motel, but also helping with application fees for a new place, groceries and stuff we might not think of, like clean clothes.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Full Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark