As part of Groundwork Denver’s Porch Bulb Project, volunteers travel door-to-door, offering to exchange incandescent front-porch light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. The initiative saves participants money and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also serving as a simple outreach gesture to help elderly and low-income residents in the community. Groundwork Denver volunteers use the opportunity to talk to community members about other energy-saving steps they can take, including free weatherization, recycling, and other measures.
Adults, teens, and kids learn how to get the most nutrition out of a tight budget through Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters Colorado, a nutrition education program that aims to help families help themselves. Professional chefs and nutritionists volunteer to lead hands-on courses that include nutrition and cooking lessons, during which participants learn to make healthy meals that cost as little as $1.63 per serving and can be prepared with basic cooking equipment. Volunteers also lead Shopping Matters grocery-store tours, which teach students how to purchase nutritious ingredients on a budget. Along with learning proper cooking techniques and safe preparation, participants return home with grocery bags stocked with the necessary ingredients to prepare the class recipe and share it with their families. In 2012, Cooking Matters Colorado coordinated 345 courses and helped connect more families to food-assistance resources.
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America SCORES Denver focuses its afterschool efforts on 10 urban-area schools, where more than 30% of students entering the fourth grade are unable to read and write at their grade level. Young participants get 10 times the average amount of exercise for those in their age group as they sprint and kick their way through organized soccer games and practices, which alternate with more than 60 hours of afterschool poetry workshops. Student-led service projects hatch into fruition each spring. Children most in need of the SCORES program's services often come from low-income families, and nearly half of the children in the program are unable to afford its registration fee, which helps compensate the teachers and coaches leading the organization's workshops and teams.
Club W's team of vino experts reject the stiff, stuffy, and pretentious vibe that some people associate with wine tastings. In doing so, they help make newcomers feel more welcome as they explore different labels and varietals at one of Club W's festivals. They also facilitate wine-based learning via a home-delivery service, which sends out three bottles a month that members choose from a list of 12 carefully selected bottles that changes monthly. Club W's online palate profile helps users narrow down their choices to the vino most suited to their tastebuds.
Rocky Mountain Wild works to protect the more than 180 species of plants and animals that are endemic to the Southern Rocky Mountains. The organization conserves forest, alpine, and desert habitats that contain these diverse species and aims to restore the ancient migration corridors that link their habitats. Its team of biologists, geographers, and policy experts also advocates for ecologically responsible skiing and strives to amplify the environmental conversation occurring nationwide and develop solutions that help wildlife thrive despite warming habitats.
Current projects focus on protecting a variety of Rocky Mountain species including the northern leopard frog, the burrowing owl, the narrowleaf evening primrose, and the gray wolf, which is currently listed as extinct in the Southern Rockies. The team gathers knowledge about these species’ statuses with motion-detection cameras and conservation mapping, and then lobbies for policies that protect ancient wilderness areas and reform climate-change and energy policies.
Women’s Bean Project works to break the cycle of poverty and unemployment among women and single mothers with significant barriers to success, such as felony convictions, chronic poverty, and past drug addictions. To do this, it established a six-month job-training program where participants can gain the skills necessary for mainstream employment. Within a safe, accepting environment, the women identify and build their talents while producing gourmet food and jewelry with the aid of professional designers.
Standing as the community's curators since 1974, The Greenway Foundation unites seasoned sprinters and pavement-pounding families beneath the same charitable banner during the annual Live-Life-Smiling Mile High Mile race. Funds raised by the race will go to support the Greenway Foundation's SPREE program, which connects thousands of students to the reclamation of the South Platte River through hands-on school trips, weekend events, and summer camps. During the event, participants of all ages launch full throttle into the single-mile scamper, which loops around Sports Authority Field, dashes through the players' tunnel, and finishes with a charge onto the stadium's 50-yard line. After huffing, puffing, and receiving high-fives from impressed tackling dummies, runners bask in postrace accomplishment as prizes acknowledge the morning's swiftest times.