Nonprofit November Week #5

Here we are, the final stretch! Thank you to those of you who have been reading along with Nonprofit November, and also to those who skim to find what appeals to you. This final week has proven to be educational, but also difficult to connect with people during the holiday week. 

In full transparency, it’s because of the holiday that two of this week’s agencies were not actual interviews. The first is the YMCA. I did not interview anyone from the Y, and they are not really a small organization. However, I believe they are largely misunderstood, and I thought I would take this opportunity to share a little of my knowledge from working for the Y movement for over 30 years. The second is Tri-Lakes Cares. I have met with their Exec, I serve on their board, and I distributed Thanksgiving meals with them last weekend. However, I did not technically interview them specifically for this project. But, it’s my project and I’m going to share about their great work anyway! 

I hope you enjoy reading this final edition of Nonprofit November agency spotlights. I also hope that it has helped to spark an interest in you, to find a cause where you can make a difference in your community. If not, here’s your last chance . . . 


The William Stanley Foundation

This is the only foundation I have interviewed during this project. A foundation varies from other organizations I’ve highlighted in that it serves as the funding source for work being delivered through other nonprofits. They work to address a critical social need through a variety of programs or agencies. 

My friend, Bill Stanley, founded his foundation just one year ago. Having had several successful careers, Bill decided that he didn’t want to leave all of his assets to his children. Instead, he wanted to leave a legacy. While Bill is very philanthropic, he doesn’t choose to give through larger organizations. He wants his giving to go straight to recipients or to programs directly serving individuals. He loves to be able to see the impact of his contributions. 

The William Stanley Foundation works to address education, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship in our young people. Bill is building his network of nonprofit agencies in order to connect with and fund projects that match his passions. Some examples of the organizations this Foundation has supported include: Inventa Academy, Rocky Mountain PBS, Kids on Bikes, Junior Achievement, Cool Science and many more. 

As a brand new organization, Bill is still developing processes and figuring things out. One of his biggest needs is to grow his Board. Currently there are two Board members and he would like to double that. With no paid staff, it is a working Board. The intent is to keep it that way in the foreseeable future. If you are interested in getting involved at the leadership level, or if you know of a program this Foundation should look at, email Bill at: You can also learn more on their Facebook page. 



Thanks to the Village People, everyone has heard of the YMCA. Many people live in a community where there is a Y. And almost everyone I speak with has participated in YMCA membership or programs at some point in their lives. Which makes it kind of ironic that relatively few people realize that the Y is a nonprofit organization. Fewer yet can articulate the mission or cause. 

It seems most people think of the Y as a swim-n-gym or a fitness center that “does good stuff in the community.” That’s not wrong, but the Y provides so much more. As a grassroots organization, every Y seeks to address the unmet needs in the community they serve. This can be anything that falls into their areas of focus: healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. 

With a 177-year history, it’s difficult to sum up all the amazing work of the Y in just a few paragraphs, but I’ll try! Every program they offer is designed to strengthen the community and help individuals reach their full potential. Some traditional programs include fitness classes, swimming lessons, day camps, youth sports, before and after school care, youth-in-government, and Bible study. Based on their community needs, there is a lot of creativity in programming. Some of the more unique offerings include a food-mobile in a food desert, a writer’s workshop for aspiring young artists, a resource center for expecting moms, adventure trips, speed dating, garden clubs, a competitive yoyo team and so. much. more. 

You are probably familiar with many of the things started or invented by the Y. Basketball, volleyball and racquetball were all created at Ys. So was organized camping and swimming pool filtration (thankfully, ew). Toastmasters, Gideons, Scouting and Father’s Day all came out of YMCAs. In many communities, the town library and night school were initially started by the Y, eventually spinning off and becoming public libraries and local colleges. These are just a few of the initiatives the YMCA has provided, all in an effort to strengthen our communities. 

The Y is committed to ensuring every community member has access to their programs and services. No one is ever denied access due to an inability to pay. Financial assistance for membership, programs, child care and more are made available because of the generosity of the community they serve. Find your local YMCA at From there you can get involved in programs, membership, volunteerism, philanthropy, leadership, and more! 


Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI)

One of the most crucial roles that nonprofit organizations fulfill (in my opinion) is engaging the community in delivering upon their mission. By doing this an agency connects people to their cause, deepening their passion for the work. RMFI (pronounced RIM-FEE) does an amazing job at this. The pandemic impacted their numbers, but in a typical year they engage over 2,000 volunteers as stewards and guardians of our outdoor resources. 

RMFI is dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of public lands in partnership with the forest service, cities, and counties; as well as state and federal lands in Southern Colorado. This isn’t just about building and maintaining trails. The RMFI team is committed to education and research, ensuring preservation of our natural resources for years to come. That means protecting and enhancing the ecological health of our land and water resources. In addition to creating sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities, their work includes completing projects focused on watershed restoration and forest health. 

When people understand, they care. That seems to be the philosophy behind the engagement and educational initiatives at RMFI. Whether it’s a brief talk on geology at the Garden of the Gods, technical training classes, or their accredited field study college course, education is woven into every aspect of their work. Since they have staff and volunteers on the ground, doing this work all the time, they are constantly researching and learning. They use the knowledge they gain through their work to develop better techniques and to educate landowners. 

According to Executive Director Jennifer Peterson, the biggest challenge currently facing RMFI is their physical space. Their offices are currently located in a very charming old school house, but during their “work season” the amount of space they have is insufficient. Jennifer’s vision is to create a collaborative hub where like-minded agencies can come together to share space, resource, and knowledge. To get involved in advancing the work of RMFI as a volunteer, donor, or seasonal staff go to their website. If you have space to consider, reach out to Jennifer directly at


Tri-Lakes Cares

Serving Northern El Paso County, this agency does a lot! They improve people’s lives by providing emergency, self-sufficiency, and relief programming. This can mean any number of services or supports to help families or individuals in need. Tri-Lakes Cares (TLC) is probably best known for their food pantry. Through the pantry they provide supplemental groceries, snack packs, summer meals for kids, and holiday meals. In 2020 they distributed over 222,000 pounds of food, serving an average of 44 families a week!

While food is their best known service, TLC also provides financial assistance for housing, utilities, transportation, medical needs, education, child care, and more. Additionally, they offer medical support with nursing assistance, advocacy and connection, insurance help, emotional and spiritual resources, disease prevention and maintenance, and health education. Other programming includes: case management, their Getting Ahead group, a holiday giving tree, backpack/school supplies distribution, and more. 

I have the honor of serving on the Board of Directors for this agency. I’m pretty new to the organization, but I have already had the opportunity to see the impact they have on our community. Clients range from those dealing with generational poverty to families experiencing joblessness due to the pandemic. The beautiful thing about Tri-Lakes Cares is the way that they treat each and every client with dignity and respect. The staff and volunteers value the individuals and meet them where they are. From there they help clients move forward based on their personal needs and readiness. 

Executive Director Haley Chapin and Board Chair Rich Schur are dedicated to helping those in need in our community. They are the ubiquitous faces of the organization in the Tri-Lakes area. If you see them out and about, they can tell you that, as the community continues to quickly grow, so does the need for TLC’s services. Limited space and staff keep them from doing more. Community donations and volunteers help. If you would like to get involved go to


Mary’s Home

Mary’s Home provides long-term residential programming designed to help single moms transition out of homelessness and create a bright future for themselves and their children. The National Center for Homeless states that over 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse, and that children experiencing homelessness have 3 times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems, compared to non-homeless children. These are complex problems, which is the reason for the long-term approach. 

Their research-based approach is broken into three phases, spread over about 5-years. The first phase focuses on healing and learning, the second phase involves discovering their career path, and the final phase helps them pursue their career. Through this process Mary’s Home not only provides a safe living situation, but the opportunity to create a new future. This approach isn’t a good fit for everyone. Single mothers experiencing crisis and who are committed to a life-changing health and growth process are the best match for this community. 

Mary Hoggatt is the Program Director at Mary’s Home (the name is just a happy coincidence). Mary loves her job more than anyone I’ve met. What she would most like for people to know about the women they serve is how strong and brave they are. It takes significant resilience to break away from trauma and create a better life for their children. These women deserve respect. 

Every family who enters Mary’s Home is welcomed with a safe, clean and comfortable living space. The space is fully furnished and surrounded by a built-in community of supporters and friends. Children attend childcare or school while moms gain parenting and employment skills. You can be a part of supporting the 19-families served through this program! Go to their website to learn about volunteering and donation opportunities. 


Want to learn more about how you can have a lasting impact on your community? Email me at to connect for a free 30-minute discovery call or check out this article on how to be a community superhero. In order to save the world, nonprofits need superheroes like you to help them have the kind of impact they exist to deliver. 

Kim Stewart

Kim is a mom, wife, lover of being active and the outdoors,
and helper of small businesses and nonprofits.

Nonprofit November Week #3

We’re at the halfway point here. Past halfway, really! And with Thanksgiving next week, it feels like we’re already on the downhill slide of Nonprofit November. Fifteen agency interviews down, ten to go! This week’s interviews have been wonderful, and represent a very diverse set of causes and agencies. Hopefully you find their work interesting, and maybe you’ll even discover a way that you would like to serve your community through one of these organizations. 

Thanks so much for reading! Please share with others who you think may be interested. Let’s spread the word about the impact these amazing agencies are providing to our community.


Festival of Lights

Have you seen the movie A Christmas Story? Personally, it’s one of my favorite Christmas movies. In it, Santa comes to town with a giant lighted parade and lots of fanfare. If you’ve seen that, you have a pretty good idea of what the Festival of Lights brings to downtown Colorado Springs. 

Nonprofit organizations exist for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is to improve the quality of life for a community. The annual Festival of Lights parade, always held the first Saturday in December, does just that for Colorado Springs. This event brings tens of thousands of people together to kick off our holiday season. Other events, like Tuba Christmas and a kids fun day surround the parade and add to the festivities. 

While this is a wonderful event to attend and enjoy with family and friends, it’s worth noting that tons of time, energy and money go into making it happen. Planning begins in the summer and before it’s over 3,000+ volunteers get involved in the production. Special thanks goes out to the event sponsors who help to make it all possible: El Paso County, Flow Right, KKTV, LART/City of Colorado Springs, and Arrow Moving.  

Executive Director, Dr. Terry Collinson, wants everyone to mark their calendar for Saturday, December 4th for this year’s parade. Things get rolling at about 5:50 pm. With 60,000 people expected in downtown Colorado Springs, plan to come early to find parking and get settled! To learn more about this year’s event go to their website


Pikes Peak Library District Foundation

I’ve mostly been focusing on small-ish local nonprofit organizations to highlight. However, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shine the spotlight on our local library system. The Pikes Peak Library District is not exactly small, but it’s an absolute jewel in our community. Our library is a lean, mean machine; which exists to provide resources and opportunities that impact individual lives and build community, enhancing the quality of life for everyone.

Approximately one in three people in our community are card-carrying members of the library. In 2020 PPLD saw over a million visitors, all while navigating closures and limited access due to the pandemic. More interestingly, our library has a reputation of being groundbreaking, trend setters. PPLD has led the industry in things like inner-library loans, computerizing their card catalog, and digital resources. As libraries across the country were planning to reopen from the pandemic, they looked to the PPLD for leadership on best practices. 

I met with Lance James, Executive Director of the PPLD Foundation. The Foundation is a separate 501(c)3 established in 2003 to bridge the funding gap the library has between their allotted revenue and what it takes to meet the needs of our growing community. The current focus is on growing the number of individuals who support the Foundation. 

One thing that Lance wants the community to know about is the library’s Knights of Columbus space. This is a facility adjacent to the downtown Penrose Library. It’s a beautiful facility with both large and small meeting spaces; as well as an outdoor garden area. This space (and many others) is available for community members to use free of charge! To learn more about this fabulous community resource, or to reserve a space go to:

Victory Service Dogs

Victory Service Dogs was born out of a need that founder, Steve Corey, saw in our community. There are other agencies that connect veterans with dogs, but it can take a long time and be a very expensive endeavor. Steve believed that there had to be a cost effective and timely way for veterans to get connected with dogs and services that would help them live their lives.

At Victory Service Dogs (VSD) they believe in helping disabled veterans, first responders, and children gain an improved quality of life through the partnership of a loving service dog. By partnering and contracting with Dog Trainers, VSD is able to create customized trainings for each person’s unique needs. Lisbeth Keen, Marketing & Project Manager, shared that they don’t just train the dogs, they train the owners on how to work with, care for, and train their dog. 

Every day, 22 veterans end their own lives. In the six years since its inception, VSD has worked with over 300 veterans, and not lost one to suicide. Client turned staff, Mary, shared the story of her journey with her support dog, Neptune (who is the absolute cutest!) Her life has literally been changed for the better since utilizing VSD’s services. Training Neptune to provide her with support has improved her quality of life, increased her independence and self-confidence, and helped her enjoy family relationships, rather than feeling like a burden. 

Victory Service Dogs is in growth mode as the demand for their services continues to climb. They have exciting plans for the future; including bigger space, expanding their youth program, and increasing education to the public. Like many agencies, funding is a challenge. You can donate or get involved as a volunteer here. VSD will be hosting their first major fundraising event next month. Pawsitive for a Purpose Winter Gala will be held on December 17th. Tickets are available now. You can also reach out to Lisbeth directly. She loves to share about the amazing work they are doing! 



TESSA envisions a community free from domestic violence and relationship abuse. Their work supports victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, trafficking, and stalking. Established in 1977 they were formed based on community needs. 

Programming includes shelter, victim advocacy, counseling, legal services, and youth education. They deliver education on healthy relationships, consent, and how to be an upstander (rather than a bystander). Victim advocacy can be anything from walk-ins and their safe line, to supporting victims at the courthouse and in the hospitals. 

Community Engagement Manager, Rica Molet, shared that they served 1,500 individuals last year. But the need is much greater. CSPD receives an average of 35 domestic abuse calls every day. The thing Rica would most like people to know about is that TESSA does not exclusively serve women. Marginalized men make up about 8% of their client base. 

TESSA is rebuilding their volunteer programming (post COVID) and has many opportunities, including working with clients, serving in their safe house, youth & children programming, hospitals & courthouses advocacy, office/administration, and more! Get involved by going to Additionally, the team at TESSA is in the middle of their annual Holiday Shoppe. They ask the community to help them in providing gifts for the kids and families in their programming. To help bring some holiday cheer, check out their wishlist. Gifts are needed by December 3rd. 


Partners in Housing

Did you know that families are the fastest growing demographic of the homeless, making up 41% of that population? Partners in Housing exists to provide one year of transitional housing and supportive services to families experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency. 

The thing that Resource Manager, Jillian Birchmeier, would most like our community to understand is that homelessness doesn’t necessarily look like you might think. While we are all aware of the homeless camps, or the panhandlers on the freeway ramps, that represents just one segment. In fact, we all likely have people in our sphere who are experiencing homelessness and we don’t realize it. 

With 68 housing units, two donation centers, case management, career readiness, budget and credit counseling, free on-site daycare, and more, Partners in Housing is truly changing lives in our community! But it’s not easy. The challenges facing their families include the high cost of housing when they transition out of PiH, rising costs of food and gas, finding full-time employment that aligns with child care, and access to safe and affordable child care.

The best part of my visit with Jillian was learning about their success stories. Last year 87% of their families improved their housing situation, 96% improved their self-sufficiency, and 89% improved their job readiness. Several past participants have come back as staff, Board volunteers and even served as Board Chairs. 

I highly encourage you to check out some of their success stories. If you want to help have this kind of impact, there are many ways that you can get involved. As you might guess, when a family is setting up a new apartment/house they have many needs. Your in-kind donations can help families make their space a home. In addition, financial donations and volunteers are always welcome! 


Want to learn more about how you can have a lasting impact on your community? Email me at to connect for a free 30-minute discovery call or check out this article on how to be a community superhero. In order to save the world, nonprofits need superheroes like you to help them have the kind of impact they exist to deliver. 

Kim Stewart

Kim is a mom, wife, lover of being active and the outdoors,
and helper of small businesses and nonprofits.

Nonprofit November ~ Week 2

Week 2 of my Nonprofit November project is here! Each weekday in November I am interviewing a different nonprofit agency in our community. I am sharing what I learn with you, in hopes that you learn a little something, and maybe even get inspired to connect with a cause or agency that sparks your passion.

Thanks so much for reading! Please share with others who you think may be interested. Let’s spread the word about the impact these amazing agencies are providing to our community.

Stranded Motorist Fund

When we think of helping those in need we often think of housing assistance, meals or food pantries, or even clothing closets. A safe, reliable automobile is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. But in an area where public transportation is lacking, it can be a huge barrier to accessing work, school, community, and more. 

During the course of 2020, Dan Adam, owner of Adam & Son, saw this need skyrocket. That led to the creation of A&S Stranded Motorist Fund. Through partnerships, internal funding, and customer donations, Adam & Son is helping to make sure there are fewer stranded motorists on the side of the road. By assisting with repair costs and necessary maintenance they are helping low income individuals and families to keep their vehicles up and running.

Scott Gill, the Brand Manager for Adam & Son, shared that their biggest challenge right now is that their need outweighs their current capacity. There are just not enough funds to help everyone who needs it. They are constantly looking for additional funding sources. If you are interested in making a donation or learning more, go to:

In addition to financial contributions, occasionally the Stranded Motorist Fund has had the opportunity to receive a car donation. They have been able to spruce it up and donate back out to someone with that need. Scott would be interested in visiting with anyone who would like to know more about the incredible impact they are having on our community. Connect with him here


Kids on Bikes

As a cyclist, I was super excited to learn more about this organization! Having a bit of an understanding of their Mountain Bike Camps and some of their partnerships, I thought I knew what the organization was about. I’ll tell you right now, I was wrong! 

Kids on Bikes was founded to address the childhood obesity crisis in our community. In El Paso County over 58% of kids get less than the recommended 60-minutes of physical activity per day. In fact, the 2015 Colorado Health Report Card indicated that kids average over 7 hours of screen time a day and only 7 minutes of active play outdoors. Childhood obesity has grown by 300% in the past thirty years as the number of kids walking or biking to school has plummeted from 50% to just 13%. 

Earn A Bike is the original, signature program for Kids on Bikes. Executive Director, Daniel Byrd shared their belief that all children deserve the opportunity to experience the joy, freedom and independence of riding and owning a bike. Additional programming that supports that vision includes their Mountain Bike Camps, Bicycling Education, the Pedal Station and community rides. 

With a goal of getting kids active on bikes for as long as possible, the biggest challenges they face are staff capacity and a shortage of bikes, equipment and parts. To donate, volunteer, or just learn more go to or reach out to Daniel directly.


Day Break ~ An Adult Day Program

I had the opportunity to tour this Adult Day Program, located in Woodland Park, a while back. I was so impressed with the amazing work they do and care that they provide, that I wanted to make sure I included them in this project. 

Founder and Executive Director, Paula Levy shared that Day Break serves to address two distinct, critical social needs. First, there are the clients aged 60 and older who cannot live independently. Through Day Break they connect with their community, access wellness and self-care services, attend outings, and maintain connections with their peers. 

The second issue they address is providing much needed respite for caregivers, giving them time to refresh, recharge, and regroup. By taking some of the pressure off caregivers, Day Break helps to postpone the transition to assisted living, prolonging health and life for the senior. 

Paula’s passion for serving our older community members is what drives the work of Day Break. Because of that, Day Break is so much more than “day care for seniors”. Staffed with CNAs and numerous volunteers, programming is designed to meet the needs of the aging clients and enrich their quality of life. Services are fee based and supplemented with grants and donations. 

The theme of the day seems to be – more need than capacity. Day Break is no different. As a state licensed care facility they are limited on the number of clients they can serve at a time. Paula and her board are currently working to find a larger space in order to expand their services. If you are interested in getting involved as a donor or volunteer go to: Additionally, Paula is always seeking opportunities to get out and speak to the community about their work. If you have a speaking opportunity email her directly to set something up.


Hope Advanced

Tim and Brownie Richardson work with the Broken, Busted and Disgusted. They connect with folks who are down on their luck and surround them with the resources, support and connections that will help them move down the path of their best life. 

When asked how they do this, Tim said that it’s different for everyone. Everyone’s situation is different, so there isn’t one solution that will help them all. Through intense listening and empathy, clients are able to come to terms with their past, then leave it behind. The goal is to get them focused on their next steps.

For some people this means helping them to access services such as housing, clothing or food. For others they need counseling to help them determine their path. Still others need to surround themselves with people who will support them in a positive way. Hope Advanced provides all of this, with the focus on finding forward movement. 

The vision is to add programming to provide job opportunities, as well as to expand to a nationwide agency serving people across the country. With many funding and volunteer opportunities, you can get connected by going to or reaching out directly to Tim and Brownie.


Becky Baker Foundation

In 2017, Becky Baker lost her battle with Breast Cancer. In her final week’s, Becky made the comment that she was disappointed that no one would remember her name. Since then, Becky’s husband Rick has been on a mission to ensure that no one could possibly forget her.

The Becky Baker Foundation provides access to mammograms and thermograms for low income women, eliminating the financial barriers that could cost them their lives. In the 3+ years since its inception, the Foundation has provided over 2,700 screenings, as well as prevention education programming.

The biggest challenge Rick sees is what he calls “Pink Washing”. Agencies, organizations, and products use this cause to make money, compromising the reputation and integrity of philanthropic efforts fighting breast cancer. Rick encourages people to do their research when considering a cause to support.

If you would like to learn more about the Becky Baker Foundation or get involved, please visit their website. I also encourage you to check out the fundraising efforts associated with #golf4prevention. Lastly, Rick wanted me to close with this plea:

“Please go get your screening!”


Want to learn more about how you can have a lasting impact on your community? Email me at to connect for a free 30-minute discovery call or check out this article on how to be a community superhero. In order to save the world, nonprofits need superheroes like you to help them have the kind of impact they exist to deliver. 

Kim Stewart

Kim is a mom, wife, lover of being active and the outdoors,
and helper of small businesses and nonprofits.