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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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.
Since it was founding in 2008, Veterans Green Jobs has supported more than 500 veterans by helping them in their transition from the battlefield to the US labor force. The organization connects veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that help their communities and the environment flourish. Through one-on-one career counseling, job training, and transitional services, it shepherds veterans into the environmentally conscious economic sector, focusing on jobs in areas such as energy conservation, green construction, and sustainable agriculture.
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.
Though most people spend Halloween running from ghosts and monsters, this year a select group of folks will be running with the specters and ghouls—right up until they get to the finish line. At the Scream Scram 5K Run/Walk, participants of all ages get together to raise money for essential after-school programs for thousands of kids who rely on Boys & Girls Clubs, all while showing off their quirky costumes. The macabre trot takes place at Washington Park, where people can run competitively or just stroll for a good cause. The race itself will be bookended by a handful of festive events. Before the starting gun, people can walk the orange carpet to display their ensemble for the costume contest. After the race, everyone gathers at Trick or Treat Street to enjoy refreshments and watch as awards are given to both the top three male and female race finishers and the best costumes in a variety of categories.
The first Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Colorado sprouted up in 1979 with the purpose of building simple, affordable homes for low-income families and spreading a sense of community. Since then, 28 more affiliates have strapped on their tool belts and joined in. In 2008, Habitat for Humanity of Colorado built its 1,000th home, sparking a campaign to build 1,000 more in the next three years.
When Habitat for Humanity builds a home, it enlists the help of the family who will be living there. They dedicate their time and sweat to completing the project alongside volunteers, neighbors, donors, churches, and other supporters, engendering a spirit of renewal and togetherness. Once they move in, families pay a no-interest mortgage with monthly payments based on 25% of their income. These payments go into a revolving fund that promotes the construction of more homes.