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This week, as most of us know, is the week prior to the biggest 420 rally in the nation in Denver, Colorado. As all of us in the industry (including MassRoots) gear up for the big day, there may be something we’re forgetting in all the excitement: Denver’s community and the people who exist either outside the industry or on the fringes. This week, leading up to 420 Week and the 420 Rally at the Civic Center, the 420 community needs to think about the city that supports its industry and makes the whole green machine work. Denver Gives is sponsoring the 420GivesBack campaign in an effort to spread awareness for small nonprofits in the Denver area which it supports through its organization. If you are part of the 420 community, take this excellent opportunity to support Denver Gives and support local, Denver-area nonprofits who need your help.

What Denver Gives Does

Denver Gives’ mission is to support Denver-area small nonprofits, whatever their positive goals might be; and their services are completely free of charge. The most important goal of every nonprofit is to succeed; drive recognition of their mission and organization; and have the resources they need to achieve their dreams. Grassroots organizations are the lifeblood of the economy, and here in Denver their voices can sometimes be drowned out by the high-profile excitement of the cannabis industry – what better way to serve the local community than to help those in need within it? This week’s 420GivesBack campaign, April 29th’s Charity Advancement Training in both Marketing and Fundraising, Denver Gives Week from August 15th-18th, and Nonprofit Appreciation Day at Lakeside Amusement Park on August 20th are all opportunities from Denver Gives to contribute a little something to people who need it.

Charities Denver Gives Supports

Denver Gives and 420GivesBack will support some of the over 5,000 small nonprofits with donations. These nonprofits are doing extraordinary things – bringing the community together in effective, amazing, and worthwhile ways every day. According to Kevin White, many organizations and people within the 420 business community have asked how they can help Denver Gives, and suggested an event like 420GivesBack to start investments and support small nonprofits such as the Chanda Plan Foundation, Fatherhood Support Services, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Café Cultura, the Denver Art Society Cooperative, Hearts of Fire, Copters for a Cause, My Lifeline.org, Bessie’s Hope, Food for Thought, Servicios de La Raza, Art from Ashes, and Denver CASA to name a few. If you need more convincing, below are descriptions of three of the almost 5,000 Denver-area nonprofits making a difference right now.  

Fatherhood Support Services (FSS) is based out of The Parenting & Fatherhood Support Center in Denver, and it specializes in services for divorced, young, and first time fathers – those who may need the most help. FSS’ goal is to help parents and especially fathers fully engage with their children to effectively and responsibly be present in their lives. With the intent of establishing healthy, nurturing relationships with the children, parents, grandparents, and other guardians are encouraged to seek out FSS’ help in pursuit of paternity, visitation, and parenting time decisions. Problem-solving, parenting skills classes, and strengths-based coaching and counseling are all provided, along with supervised visits if needed. FSS’ staff members are experienced advocates who have served almost 500 parents – 90% of whom are fathers. FSS is a small nonprofit doing a world of good for Denver’s children, families, and those who don’t know where to turn in custodial situations that may be difficult.

Café Cultura is a spoken word organization which is focused on giving a voice to Indigenous peoples through creative self-expression in their own words; its purpose is to help reclaim oral and written traditions and histories to increase leadership in Indigenous communities in Colorado. As Rudyard Kipling said, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Café Cultura seems to agree, and has been working towards its goals since 2004 to unite Chicano/a, Mexicano/a, and Latino/a people all across the United States. Café Cultura holds open mic nights at 910 Galapago Street focused on family and youth, as well as culturally relevant word/poetry workshops for underserved youth in Colorado. Showcases, free spoken word workshops, publishing of youth poetry, and a leadership program for Indigenous youth are also available.

Servicios de la Raza (Services for the People) is the heart of the Metro Denver Latino and Chicano community, and provides trusted and accessible community resources that are culturally responsive and essential for low-income residents of Denver. The goal of the nonprofit is to help those who are caught in the vicious cycle of poverty and to do so in a culturally sensitive way through the language and traditions that are familiar and treasured by the Latino community. Servicios is linked to many churches and schools, and is a primary service referral channel to help people in need contact human services agencies and institutions. Among the programs Servicios offers are La Raza Youth Leadership Institute — an intensive leadership training program for high school students which inspires giving back to the Latino community; La Gente (The People), a bilingual HIV/AIDS services program to assist patients in access to medical care, emotional support and other necessary services; VISTAS (Victims in Safe Transition and Self-Sufficiency and Domestic Violence Program), which provides help for victims of violence and assault in both Spanish and English; and YES, a program designed to provide support for youth to reach education goals and meaningful employment. These are but a few of the stimulating, fascinating, and spectacular organizations that Denver Gives Supports; if you are a part of the 420 community in Denver or anywhere else, please consider supporting them through a donation on 420GivesBack.org.

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