Barefoot in the Community: 2019 Recap

Another year, another 12 nonprofits in the books! At the end of every year, we love spending some time looking back on the nonprofits we toured, the missions we connected with, and the memories we made as a team.

For those who don’t already know, the Barefoot team has made it a regular tradition to visit a new nonprofit each month. Learning about local nonprofits allows us to keep community at the heart of what we do. Take a look at our list for 2019 and follow us on Instagram to see where we go next!

January: Youth on Record

What They Do: With the help of Colorado’s most talented and willing musicians, Youth on Record inspires at-risk youth to see the potential for a better life.

What We Did: We stopped by Youth on Record to jam out on some instruments and tour the Youth Media Studio, part of Denver Housing Authority’s La Mariposa revitalization project. We loved touring this playful space where young people can awaken their talents.

February: Face it TOGETHER

What They Do: Face It TOGETHER is a disruptive social enterprise committed to solving our nation’s – and every community’s – greatest health challenge: the chronic disease of drug and alcohol addiction.

What We Did: We listened to powerful stories from the staff at Face it Together, which really inspired us to think differently about this tough issue. We are so proud to know that places like this, with a unique approach to addiction, exist right here in our community.

March: Osage Cafe

What They Do: Osage Café is a social enterprise serving delicious breakfast and lunch options in Denver’s Mariposa District. Established in 2013 by the nonprofit, Youth Employment Academy, the café employs underserved young adults and trains them in skills to help them succeed in the culinary industry.

What We Did: We visited this part-restaurant, part-academy to check out what happens behind-the-scenes in the kitchen. From learning basic knife skills to customer service to preparing a mean breakfast burrito, it was clear these young people have a bright future ahead in the culinary industry!

April: Hope House

What They Do: Hope House is metro Denver’s only resource providing free self-sufficiency programs to teen moms, including Residential, GED, and College & Career Programs.

What We Did: At Hope House, we learned about the statistics surrounding teen moms and how they can improve their situation drastically with access to housing and supportive programming. We also got a sneak peek of their brand new resource center, which will allow Hope House to triple the number of teen moms they empower each year.

May: Colorado Ballet

What They Do: Colorado Ballet is a nonprofit organization celebrating nearly 60 years of presenting world-class classical ballet and innovative dance in Denver.

What We Did: We visited Colorado Ballet’s new home (since 2014) at the Armstrong Center for Dance. It was an absolute joy to tour this beautiful space, but our favorite part was a behind-the-scenes look at the costume room! We can’t wait to see those new Nutcracker costumes in 2020 😉

June: Dress for Success Denver

What They Do: Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

What We Did: So. Many. Shoes. It was no surprise we all felt very at home among the endless clothes and shoes at Dress for Success! But more importantly, we learned about the one-on-one coaching and support participants receive so they can not only look their best, but also gain the confidence they need to succeed.

July: The Center on Colfax

What They Do: The Center on Colfax is the largest LGBTQ community center in the Rocky Mountain region, giving voice to Colorado’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and playing a pivotal role in statewide initiatives to reduce harassment and discrimination.

What We Did: One of the best highlights of our summer was sitting down with The Center’s Volunteer and Event Manager John White, AKA Dixie Krystals, to learn a little more about this nonprofit gem in the heart of Denver. We were amazed by the amount of work they put into Denver PrideFest each year and the array of programming they provide for the LGBTQ community.

August: Museo de las Americas

What They Do: Museo de las Americas is the premier Latin American art museum in the Rocky Mountain region. Museo has served the Denver community for 28 years through award-winning exhibitions,  education programming, and special events.

What We Did: Did you know a lot of our local museums are also nonprofits? We explored the amazing art gallery at Museo de las Americas and couldn’t resist the bright pink photo op!

September: Fort Collins Creator Hub

What They Do: Fort Collins Creator Hub is a maker space in Fort Collins where community members have access to the tools, equipment, space and camaraderie they need to create. They offer classes that are open to the public as well as to members. At the Fort Collins Creator Hub, exciting things are invented, made, tinkered with, painted, engineered, crafted, programmed, sewed, built, and more!

What We Did: We took a field trip to Northern Colorado to check out all the things you can invent, make, tinker with, paint, engineer, craft, program, sew and build in a maker space! Cori especially loved meeting a local glass artist. Creativity really does come in all shapes and sizes!

October: Harm Reduction Action Center

What They Do: The Harm Reduction Action Center is committed to serving Colorado’s public health by working to reduce the harms associated with drug use. They provide direct services that curb the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and accidental overdoses among people who inject drugs.  

What We Did: On this tour, we tackled another tough issue: safe injection drug use. We learned more about this nonprofit’s work in education, empowerment, and advocacy for the health and dignity of Denver.

November: Denver Inner City Parish

What They Do: The Denver Inner City Parish loves and supports individuals and families in the community, empowering them to break the cycle of poverty through a variety of programs.

What We Did: At Denver Inner City Parish, we got to see how they’re helping the Denver community with everything from a food pantry to a community Thanksgiving dinner to educational programs like coding for youth. DICP is even exploring innovative ways to grow food with things like vertical farming!

December: History Colorado

What They Do: Through a network of museums, History Colorado shares the stories of Colorado’s past—its people, its places, and the events that have shaped the sweep of human history.

What We Did: We got a behind-the-scenes tour of the History Colorado archives. From flags to books to clothes, we took a step into history and felt proud to live in our great state.

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