Beyond the slopes and trails, the Vail Valley is a thriving, tight-knit community of people who call this place home. This community is supported and strengthened by numerous nonprofit organizations whose work provides basic human needs, protects the great outdoors, empowers young people and so much more. Giving Tuesday (Tuesday, December 3) and Colorado Gives Day (Tuesday, December 10) create bookends to a week of giving back to these organizations.
Photo: Eagle County Gives Facebook
Giving Tuesday (or #GivingTuesday as you’ll see it around social media platforms) is, of course, the feel-good finale to the series of post-Thanksgiving sales – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Nonprofits all over the world use the day to drive donations and engage new supporters.
Colorado Gives Day is a project of the Community First Foundation that was started a decade ago to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Participating nonprofit organizations get a little extra money when you make a donation (through the Colorado Gives website) on Colorado Gives Day thanks to a $1.5 million incentive fund. Tip: They let you schedule your Colorado Gives Day donations ahead of time, which is a great option if you think you might forget on December 10. I like to use Giving Tuesday as a reminder to schedule all of my Colorado Gives Day donations.
In the Vail Valley, a coalition of more than 50 organizations works together to promote Colorado Gives Day locally through Eagle County Gives. Last year their efforts helped raise more than $1 million for Vail Valley nonprofits.
Check out the Eagle County Gives Rally at Maya in Avon on Monday, December 9, to learn more about the collaborative, Colorado Gives Day and the individual organizations. In the meantime, here are a few examples of the ways Vail Valley nonprofits make a difference in the community.
The Eagle County Gives Rally on December 9 and EagleCoGives.org provide easy ways to give to more than 50 Eagle County nonprofits. Photo: Eagle County Gives Facebook
These organizations exist to support individuals in crisis and those who have experienced trauma. The Bright Future Foundation empowers and supports families and individuals who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. The Vail Valley Charitable Fund provides financial aid to people experiencing a medical crisis.
Environment and nature
These organizations protect the mountains and the natural environment we all love to play in. The Eagle Valley Land Trust works to conserve significant lands in Eagle County, while the Eagle River Watershed Council protects its rivers and streams. Walking Mountains Science Center provides education about sustainability and environmental stewardship for all ages.
Eagle Valley Land Trust works to protect places like Sweetwater Lake. Photo: Eagle Valley Land Trust Facebook
Education and lifelong learning
Whether its providing opportunities to learn education basics or presenting lectures on science or politics for folks who love learning simply for the joy of it, these organizations exist to provide and enhance educational experiences for all ages in the Vail Valley. The Education Foundation of Eagle County supports student-enrichment programs, mental health services and teacher retention in Eagle County Public Schools, while The Literacy Project provides English language tutoring for children and adults. The Vail Symposium presents regular lectures, panel discussions and workshops on a variety of topics, from politics to culture to health and wellness.
Arts and culture
These organizations pack big-city arts and culture experiences into the Vail Valley. Vail Jazz offers music education programming and presents more than 75 jazz performances throughout the year. Bravo! Vail brings performances from the New York Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and more to Vail each year during its summer festival.
Youth and sports
Opportunities for outdoor activities abound in the Vail Valley, but participation in these activities would be out of reach for many local youth if it wasn’t for these organizations. SOS Outreach provides outdoor recreation – like ski or snowboard lessons – and mentorship opportunities for underserved youth. The Cycle Effect empowers young women through mountain biking, mentorship and community service.
This is just a small list of organizations and their areas of work. Check out the participating nonprofits page on the Eagle County Gives website to learn more about the many nonprofit organizations doing impactful, important work in the Vail Valley.