With Giving Tuesday happening this week and Colorado Gives Day coming up on December 6, we’re in the spirit of giving back this time of year. And community involvement is something we are passionate about doing all year long, through GroupGives, a fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. The mission of the fund is to support organizations and programs that promote the belief that every person should have a place to call home.
If you’re looking for ways to give back to the community during the holiday season, we’ve gathered a number of opportunities in Northern Colorado, from toy and coat drives to charitable races and volunteer opportunities. This time of year, the needs are great — but the overwhelming community support is even greater! Come alongside these efforts to help our neighbors in need during the holidays — and beyond.
There are a few more days to contribute to the Coats for Colorado coat drive! Founded in 1982, Coats for Colorado was the first coat drive in the country, and has since inspired hundreds of coat drives across the country. Over the decades, Coats for Colorado has collected, cleaned and distributed more than 2 million coats throughout the Denver metro area. The organization partners with 120 non-profit health and human service agencies, who provide thousands of individuals and families with winter coats. There are several drop-off locations throughout Colorado, including one right here in Fort Collins at First Bank (2644 South Timberline Road). And if you miss the deadline, don’t worry — you can always shop on Amazon Smile to contribute a portion of your purchase to Coats for Colorado. And if you would like to help but don’t have any used jackets, you can purchase something from their Amazon Wish List instead!
Kenzi’s Causes supports underprivileged children and their families in Colorado by providing toys, food, and more during the holidays — plus school supplies and clothing during the school year. In December, Kenzi’s Causes hosts their annual toy drive initiative at various locations all throughout the state. You have until November 30 to drop off new, unwrapped toys at one of the many drop-off locations (mapped out here), so they can be wrapped and ready for the pickup at Fort Collins Knights of Columbus on December 3! Each child is provided with a big toy, a small toy, and a wooden car at each of their locations.
For more than 56 years, the Longmont Gift of Home Tour has been a time-honored tradition for the Longmont community. This year, this self-guided tour will feature four distinct homes of varying sizes, all “dressed up” for the holidays by decorators and decor stores. You can purchase items for sale or simply get inspiration from the beautiful displays for your own home decor. This event benefits Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley, and will help families achieve the dream of transformational affordable homeownership. Opening night is a VIP night and includes a party at the Longmont ReStore and transportation by BrewHop Trolley! Get your tickets here.
Colorado Gives Day is coming up on December 6! Homeward Alliance has a goal of raising $75,000 to support their services in 2023 — and you can help them get there. Homeward Alliance has several incredible programs and initiatives that work tirelessly to help Northern Colorado’s homeless and hungry population. Don’t want to wait until December 6 to make your contribution? You can submit your donation today through Colorado Gives Day.
Realities For Children’s Santa’s Workshop is a grassroots effort that has grown into a county-wide toy and winter gear distribution — so much so that it is now the single largest distribution of toys to children who have been abused or neglected in Northern Colorado. All throughout November and through December 12, you can donate new, unwrapped toys purchased from their Amazon Wish List and drop them off at one of the many collection locations throughout NoCo. Then, these items are distributed to all 40 of Realities for Children’s partner agencies in Larimer County, who can then play Santa to the children and families they serve. You can also make a monetary donation (just designate Santa’s Workshop) or volunteer to help with distribution.
The Santa Catch 5K & 10K supports Adopt-A-Family, which will be serving thousands of local families in need this holiday season. And there are a few races to choose from — including the 10K, 5K and a free kids fun run, which means the whole family can join in! All 10K and 5K participants will receive a Santa Catch beanie and a finisher medal. Stick around for the awards ceremony and the free post-race hot cocoa bar, music, food and more! Register for Santa Catch here.
Santa Cops of Larimer County is a non-profit organization consisting of representatives from Fort Collins Police Services, Loveland Police Department, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado State University Police, Timnath Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office. Each year, Santa Cops provides presents to hundreds of children throughout the area. If you would like to contribute a gift to the cause or provide funding, click here for more information on how to donate.
Meals on Wheels operates in nearly every community in America, including Meals on Wheels Fort Collins, which has served thousands of hot meals since it was established in 1969. Their mission is to provide nutritious, warm meals and social interaction to home-bound seniors and eligible clients five days a week in the greater Fort Collins area. While this is a year-round need, the holiday season can be an extra lonely time for these individuals. Consider volunteering to deliver meals on a weekly or biweekly basis to help fill this important need in our community.
House of Neighborly Service is a day center that offers advocacy and case management for homeless adults. They are open year-round in Loveland and Berthoud and provide everything from shower and laundry services to mental health assessments and substance abuse counseling. Each holiday season, HONS creates The Gift, a catalog with various opportunities to make contributions to help people in need and crisis, including older individuals, children, and hard-working families struggling to make ends meet. You can simply add these specific items to your cart, including pet food, a caring neighbors food basket, warm coats, or food for a family for a whole week. These are just a few of the many services offered at House of Neighborly Service!
A small but impactful way to help meet basic needs in our community is by making no-sew blankets for the United Way of Larimer County. When people are unable to meet their basic needs — like warmth — it is difficult to focus on long-term goals, like employment, housing or education. Sign up as a volunteer in the upper right hand corner of this page, which has detailed instructions for creating these easy no-sew fleece blankets. You can then schedule an appointment to drop your blanket(s) off at the United Way of Larimer County!
We’ve all seen the bright red kettles and heard the clanging bells outside of grocery stores and other businesses during the holidays. This year, that bell ringer could be you! The Salvation Army of Loveland and Berthoud is currently seeking volunteers to help raise money for their year-long programs to help those in need. Click here for more information about this opportunity and to sign up as a bell ringer!
Thank you for supporting the many causes The Group is so passionate about. If you’re looking for other opportunities, check out these non-profits and causes we support through GroupGives — they are always looking for monetary donations and volunteers.