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Recognizing Good Work in Rural Colorado

Photo by Maggie Frasure

By Maggie Frasure, The Colorado Trust

I had the privilege to attend Rural Philanthropy Days (RPD) in Pagosa Springs in June. The final day of RPD is a funder roundtable session that is a bit like “speed dating” for nonprofit organizations: the nonprofits each have two minutes to pitch their organization to funders.

After meeting with more than 30 nonprofit organizations located in Southwest Colorado during the roundtable session, The Trust chose the following five organizations to receive $5,000 grants:

  • Archuleta County Veteran Services Office: Veterans are especially prone to mental health issues. The nearest clinics providing mental health services to Archuleta County veterans are over an hour away. Funding will help provide veterans and their family members with local, timely and consistent mental health counseling.
  • Hospice of Montezuma: In addition to providing care to terminally ill patients, Hospice of Montezuma offers mental health services in an isolated region of the state with high suicide rates. The organization will use the funds to continue providing support groups and suicide prevention education and awareness to Montezuma and Dolores county residents.
  • La Plata Family Centers Coalition: The coalition creates programs and access to resources to address issues identified by community members, including lack of access to medical care, lack of fresh food and poverty. The coalition will use the funding for a resource-mapping project to identify environmental and health resources needed to improve the health of Pine River Valley residents.
  • Southern Ute Indian Tribe: The Shining Mountain diabetes program provides and coordinates diabetes prevention activities for the Southern Ute tribe. Funds will be used to conduct an oral history with tribal elders to learn more about how the disease affects their population, and about healthy native foods. They will use the learnings to educate tribal youth and add more native foods to their community garden.
  • TARA Historical Society at Navajo Lake: The Tara Historical Society oversees the community center, a hub of activity serving children with its playground, hosting community meetings and events, and providing activities for seniors and disabled residents. The building is two stories high, without an elevator. Funds will be used to make the lower level handicap-accessible by modifying doors to accommodate wheelchair entry, installing additional handicap railings and signage and creating more handicapped parking spaces.

The Colorado Trust is looking forward to participating in the Southeast RPD in Trinidad in September 2014.

Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.