Aspen Times Weekly: What our nonprofit neighbors really need this holiday season |

Aspen Times Weekly: What our nonprofit neighbors really need this holiday season

compiled by Jeanne McGovern

Aspen may be a land of plenty. But it is also land with plenty of needs — at the holidays and all year-round

“It’s nothing new to say that many of us are drawn to this valley for its stunning beauty and boundless recreational, intellectual and cultural activities. Yet within this seemingly perfect setting, our greater community is challenged by poverty, lack of opportunities, and feelings of hopelessness. These needs are real, year-round,” says Tamara Tormohlen, executive direction of the Aspen Community Foundation.

“Thankfully, it seems like for every cause there is an organization full of dedicated people making a difference. For 35 years, Aspen Community Foundation has been helping to focus these efforts. We’ve worked continuously to support our nonprofit organizations, many of whom are providing critical services on often very lean budgets.”

According to the IRS, there are 520 registered nonprofits from Aspen to Parachute, but practically speaking, there are approximately 300-350 nonprofits actively working in the region.

“These organizations depend on the tradition of year-end giving. The community’s generosity and kindness during this season of giving can truly help a neighbor in need.”

In addition to major players in the giving arena, such as the Aspen Community Foundation, Pitkin County Healthy Community Fund, Thrift Shop of Aspen, The Environment Foundation, the city of Aspen and other town’s small community grantmaking programs, there are dozens of private/family foundations, individual donors and corporate support

Still, great need exists. So, this holiday season, we asked our local nonprofits what their No. 1 need is. The outpouring of responses — and the breadth of the requests — surprised us. And it made us realize that we can all make a difference to our neighbors in need. We hope you you’ll read this and give generously where you can.

Here are their wishes.

Access Roaring Fork

A small passenger van/bus to use in our after-school and summer programs.

Deb Rice, 970.963.4402,

Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Donations for our scholarship fund for local children whose parents cannot otherwise afford a one-week workshop at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. (A full day one-week workshop costs $425; and a half day one-week workshop costs $275

Nancy Wilhelms, 970.923.3181 x 203, 5263,

Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program

Scholarship money to be able to offer low-income and at-risk students to participate in our youth radio summer camps. We are hoping to be able to award at least $2,000 in scholarships to cover part or all of the tuition of our camps.

Stacy Stein, 970.963-0139 x7,

Aspen Camp

A four wheel drive passenger vehicle that can help us safely transport our kids in the winter and get around in the snow easily as we are in the middle of the mountains.

Katie Murch, 970-315-0513,

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Materials and supplies to create a children’s hands-on experiential vegetable garden at Rock Bottom Ranch. Examples of materials and supplies include: pergola for a shaded classroom, starter soil, organic seed mix, wood and hardware to create garden beds, seats and fencing, and hand tools and harvest tools for children to explore the garden.

Katie Schwoerer, 970.925.5756.

Aspen Chapel

Donations for our scholarship fund for our interspiritual youth education program – “Being Human” — Tuesday After School Program- For children in kindergarten through 8th grade

Elaine Bonds,

Aspen Education Foundation

College Counseling Funding. We need to raise $88,000 annually to fully fund the department.

Melissa Long, 970.987.2415,

Aspen Dance Connection

Laptop computer.

Fran Page, 970.927.0641,


As with many nonprofits, our wish list is pretty long and ongoing. After some thought, we are going to go big. Our #1 need is for a Community/Education/Gallery space, which will be part of our Archives remodel. The space will better enable us to grow our free education programs for Valley students (we had thousands of interactions with students last year!) – $10,000.

Kelly Murphy,

Aspen Homeless Shelter

Besides from a piece of real-estate that could serve as a longer term overnight shelter than the four months we are, for now, afforded at St. Mary Catholic Church, we need volunteer help preparing hot evening meals to bring into the Evening Meal program at the Homeless Shelter Day

Vince Savage, 970-544-5545,

Alpine Legal Services

10 lawyers who are willing to volunteer and an ATT cell signal booster.

Kimberly Gent, (970) 920-2828,

Aspen Music Festival and School

$6,650 in additional scholarship funds to allow even more local elementary and middle school students to participate in our AfterWorks programs: after-school, in-school, and summer music education programming, including Beginning Strings, Lead Guitar, and Maroon Bel Canto Children’s Chorus. With 35 students still on the waiting list for scholarship assistance, this funding would ensure that these students with financial need are able to participate in our high-quality music education programming.

Alan Fletcher, 970.205.5011,

Aspen Public Radio

Replacement soundcards and microphones for broadcast operations ($7500).

Carolyne Heldman, 970.920.9000,

Aspen Valley Hospital

At the top of our holiday wish list is a new Emergency Department for our community!

Deborah Breen,

Aspen Youth Center

The kitchen space in Aspen Youth Center needs a renovation to repair and update. As you know, the AYC kitchen is more than just a kitchen…along with being our food preparation space (for meals like Summer Friday Lunch), it also serves as cooking classroom, art studio/classroom, science lab and meeting room for AYC board of directors and committees – it really IS the heart of Aspen Youth Center. It was built in 2002-03 when the ARC was originally constructed and it is quite worn down. The space needs new paint, new counters, new flooring, another sink for art and science projects and more storage.

Keith Berglund, 970.544.4132,

Basalt Thrift Store

Our singular wish is for a covered box truck for picking up and transporting goods throughout the valley. We are desperate as our current truck is unsafe to drive and is the work-horse of our recycle/salvage program.

Steve Jundt, 970-927-6488,

Biochemical Research Foundation (BRF)

Tax deductible donations toward work that seeks to empower women to use the bioidentical hormones in the safest way possible to enhance and support the process of getting a bit older, as we all are.

Phyllis Bronson,

Buddy Program

We need adult male volunteers to be Big Buddies to waiting youth, especially in the midvalley.

Heather Hicks, 970-920-2130,

Carbondale Clay Center

New, up-to-date computers. This would help us with our daily chores, and help us to better communicate our mission and programs to the Roaring Fork Valley.

Carbondale Clay Center

Jill Oberman, 970.963.CLAY,

Catholic Charities, Western Slope

For us the number one need would be something for the parents. Our valley is amazing with the generosity bestowed upon all the children in need – and the parents of these kids are so very grateful. Yet the parents are typically not included in the gift giving. It would be wonderful to have something for the parents to open on Christmas morning as well. Ideas: A gift card – grocery card/target/Wal-Mart. Gas cards are also helpful. Or a small item such as a nice lotion for a mom, scarf, warm socks, etc.

Marian McDonough, (970)384 2060 ext. 25,

Chris Klug Foundation

We’d love everyone in the community to register as organ donors! We could also use more funding for our educational program “Know the Facts, Share Your Decision,” — $1,000 would get us 300 more flash drives which come loaded with our CKF video and worksheets that go into Driver’s Ed and Health classes across the country.

Beth Slater, 970-618-7120,

CMC Basalt Family Literacy Children’s Program

Financial support to enable us to continue to offer the children’s program as a free service to the adult students in CMC’s evening ESL and GED programs at Basalt Middle School.

Virginia Nicolai, 970.963.2172,

Colorado Animal Rescue

Among many needs are: Canned wet dog/cat food; dog bones and treats; pine pellet cat litter; dog toys; cleaning supplies; small filing cabinet

Colorado Council on Arts and Humanities

A a storage Shed for our new home at The Launchpad. We have our gallery pedestals and tables and chairs that we need to store to be accessible to all the groups and artists that use our new space. This wish not only helps CCAH but Dance Initiative as well.

Amy Kimberly, 970.963.1680,

Community Health Services

We operate a prenatal program for pregnant women who have Medicaid and live in Pitkin and Western Eagle County. Many of our clients could use a car seat for their newborns. We serve about 50 women per year in this program but would be so happy to have any number of car seats.

Liz Stark, 970-920-5010,

Cottage Preschool

Financial to help us continue to provide a high quality early education experience, including $2,000 to help buy quality equipment and supplies for the children.

Christina Holloway, 970.618.9984,

Family Resource Center

Financial contributions to our dental fund. Each year we see many students with extensive need for dental work. The Family Resource Center works diligently to create a patchwork of funding to pay for treatment plans that often reach $5000.

Jenny Lindsay, 970-384-5697,

Family Visitor Programs

Board of Directors members from Pitkin County and from Basalt area. (We hold many of our meetings on the phone)

Sandy Swanson, 970-945-,

Feed My Sheep Ministries

Our No. 1 need was fulfilled by a local bank, we were in need of a new dryer. If I could think of one thing this morning it would be prayer or someone is welcome to donate from their heart.

Karen Peppers, 970-928-8340,

Forest Conservancy

Besides funding to assist us with protecting our forest, the needs volunteers, specifically adults to be engaged as volunteer wilderness rangers and forest ambassadors.

Marcia Johnson,

Frontier Historical Society and Museum

A 4-drawer, legal size file cabinet.

Cindy Hines, 970.945.4448,

Family Visitor Programs

Board of Directors members from Pitkin County and from Basalt area. (We hold many of our meetings on the phone)

Sandy Swanson, 970-945-,

Garfield County Libraries

Our number one need is always extra copies of best sellers to help with our hold list. If anyone has purchased the latest hot title and finished reading it, it is a great donation to your local public library. We will ensure that the copy gets read many more times. Just drop them in to the book drop at any branch or give them to staff inside if you’d like a receipt.

Amelia Shelley,

Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts

Our primary need is funding for a new kiln for our pottery studio. Our program is growing at a great rate, and our old kiln isn’t going to last much longer. The estimated cost of a new quality kiln that will last us another 20 years is $2,400.00 and we are in immediate need.

Christina Brusig, (970) 945 2414,

Go2Work Programs: GarCo Sewing Works

One or two new cutting surfaces for the sewing table ($45-$70 each); new blades for the rotary cutters (approximately $100).

Jill A. Ziemann, (970) 384-8518,

GrassRoots Community Network

A wise, involved, and joyful community.

John Masters,

Habitat for Humanity

Our greatest need is volunteers — ReStore and build site volunteers, no experience needed, we accept teambuilding groups.

Geneva Farr, 309-3088,

Head Start

Our need is a modular in Carbondale to use for classroom and kitchen space. Currently we are renting an inferior building that is not meeting our needs and we have been unable to locate other space.

Deborah Hoswell, 970-243-9318,

High Country RSVP Wish List

Donations to continue to provide services to seniors and non-profit agencies and for retired seniors, age 55 and older, to use their life experiences, abilities, and skills in volunteer service to their communities.

Patty Daniells, 970.947.8461,

Hike for Hope

End muscular dystrophy. Benefit hike on Jan. 11, 2015


Hudson Reed Ensemble

That’s easy…SPACE…for rehearsal and performance.

Kent Hudson Reed,

Junior Achievement (JA) of the Roaring Fork Valley.

A 7th grade teacher from Aspen Middle School has requested a JA program or all six sections of her Social Studies class. That means we need six community volunteers in February.

Laura Sea,


Musical instruments and amplifiers for the KDNK Broadcast Learning Center. From acoustic guitar to electric bass and drums, etc. KDNK’s new space is ready for live broadcasts. Now we need a solid backline and instruments to encourage spontaneous creativity.

Steve Skinner, (970) 963-0139,


We have been working with LiveWell of Colorado in acquiring healthier foods for our pantries. We worked with them this past growing season on getting fresh fruit and vegetables in our pantries. Part of the healthier foods is we are asking for low sodium, low sugar, whole wheat or organic items for our pantry shelves.

Kimberly Loving, 970-625-4496,

Literacy Outreach

Our number one need is for volunteers. 100 adult learners are waiting to learn from Carbondale to Parachute. Volunteers are need to teach basic literacy skills such as reading, writing, math or oral English skills to non-native speakers. Professional training is provided. If you don’t have time to volunteer, we also need white boards, markers, erasers and cleaners.

Martha Fredendall, 970-945-5282,

Lucky Day Animal Rescue

Our number one need is funding as our adoption fee rarely covers our vetting and training costs.

Rachel Hahn, 970-618-3662,

Marshall Direct Fund

Volunteers to participate on our Development or Marketing Committees that convene e very other month and help with strategic input and activities.

Jodi Fischer, 970.963.3150, at

Mercy & Sharing

We wish for someone to help keep our Disabled Orphan Therapy Center open in Haiti. 62 disabled orphans are dependent on this program.

Susie Krabacher,

Mountain Family Health Centers

Within the last year MFHC has developed the Care Access Pool (CAP) in order to help patients eliminate financial barriers to health by providing them with financial assistance when they are uninsured, underinsured and all other options have been exhausted when seeking help for specialty care, food assistance, durable medical devices and medication. The CAP is funded completely by donations so we would love to invite people to donate to this fund.

Danyelle Carlson, 970-945-2840 ext. 7257,

Mountain Valley Development Services

One of our priorities currently is to obtain funds to help provide training and software for families and caregivers to provide access to technology that can assist in promoting independence for persons with disabilities. Also, used iPads would be greatly appreciated.

Bruce Christensen,

OUR School

Because our facility was built as a residential rather than commercial building, we have found that some of our children’s hand washing sinks are not equipped with the correct temperatures of hot and cold water. Fixing the temperature problem in our hand washing sinks would be a Christmas wish come true for OUR School.

Joy Love, (970) 947-0636,

Pitkin County Senior Center

Good volunteer drivers to take seniors to medical appointments in locations like Glenwood, Rifle, Denver, Grand Junction. Patient volunteer “Geeks” to help seniors with computers, iPads, iPhones and other tech devices. Finally a “wish” that people in the community would come visit the Pitkin County senior center and get to know what we do, who we are, and what we aren’t!

Marty Ames,

Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute

Funding to provide books for local families and parent education on building the language and literacy skills of their young children.

Rick Blauvelt, 970.230.9117,

Reach-Out Colorado

We are currently having to purchase up to 40% (or $500+/each month) of the food ourselves for weekend meals for schoolchildren in the Rifle area. With the number of eligible children rising, our finances are strained. We have only enough in reserve to buy food for one more month. We continue to solicit donors, write grants and apply for funds. But if we don’t get help soon, some of these children will go hungry.

David Bottroff, 970-309-0384,

RFSD Pre-Collegiate Program

More volunteer mentors to work with the students as they pursue their dream of attending college.

Leslie Emerson, 970-384-5967,

Response: Help for Survivors of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

City Market gift cards. Our clients No. 1 need is financial support, so if we could give them food gift cards, then they can use their money for all of their other needs.

Logan Hood, (970) 920-5357,

Rifle Animal Shelter

Our number one wish list item is volunteers and foster homes. If you are looking for an item it would be cat litter.

Rifle Animal Shelter, (970) 625-8808

River Bridge Regional Center

Spanish-speaking volunteers, and we are always grateful for financial donations.

Blythe Chapman,

River Center New Castle

We could use non-perishable food to stock the pantry for totes for hope weekend food outreach to children in RE-2 Schools and non-perishable food for after school programs.

Lee Price,

Ross Montessori School

RMS has a capital campaign kicking off for $400,000 to get to the end of the first phase of construction on a 19,000 sq ft building and campus on nearly 3 acres of land in Carbondale.

Tricia Williams, 970-948-1990,

Senior Programs in Garfield County

Our #1 needs is funds to purchase punch passes for folks to ride Traveler, the door to door transportation system for seniors and disabled. A punch pass for 20 rides is $40.

Judy Martin, (970) 945-9191 extension 3061,


Passionate community members to be trained as storytellers to tell stories in the schools to build literacy, imagination and community.

Catherine Johnson,

Summit 54

Funding to help cover the costs of Fun-day Friday Educational Field Trips for Summit 54’s Summer Advantage 5-week academic and life enrichment program offered for free to children in the RFSD each summer.

Nicole Tarumianz, 970.618.0997, nicole@summit

Theatre Aspen

Our number one need is funding for scholarships for needy students and apprentices. And tickets for families who might not get to attend theatre otherwise.

Jenny Lyons,

Thunder River Theatre Company

A 20-foot High Genie Lift in good working condition. It would be an amazing asset for the safety of our tech crews.

Lon Winston, 970-963-8200,

Upward Bound

The opportunity to take our kids to special event in Aspen. This might include tickets, lunch and/or gas money for the school bus from Parachute.

Krisan Crow, 970.285.2014,


Money toward scholarships for the Dale Snearly Youth Fund.

Lori Mueller,970-945-9300 ext. 20,

Your Friends for Life

Our No. 1 need is gift certificates — City Market, gas stations and oil changes, movies, bowling, your favorite places. These are first items cut on already tight budgets when your family has a member diagnosed with cancer.

Diane Welter, 970-309-5293,

Valley Life for All

Our number one need is volunteers interested in supporting people with disabilities in the community.

Gary Bender,

Wildwood School

At Wildwood, we strive to foster an inter-connectedness within our community, and as such we appreciate local artisans, musicians, naturalists, storytellers, gardeners, athletes, photographers, bakers, dancers etc. — anyone with a skill or expertise they would like to share — to arrange to visit the school and share their passion with our preschoolers, or we will come to you. Or, for something more concrete and specific, a log bench in our front yard would be most appreciated as well.

Becky Helmus, 970-925,

Aspen Times Weekly

This week in Aspen history

“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.

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