Here’s to giving back in 2008 | AspenTimes.com

Here’s to giving back in 2008

Just when some of us at The Aspen Times were beginning to feel the first symptoms of withdrawal from all the candy and cookies we’ve inhaled this holiday season, we realized it was time to look toward 2008. What we came up with isn’t exactly a New Year’s resolution, but a strategy for the newspaper to contribute to the community in a brand new way.

Simply put, of all the hardworking and worthwhile nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley, The Aspen Times has chosen to throw its support behind Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley in 2008. Specifically, the newspaper will match any cash donations that our staff members make to the organization. The paper also will pay each staff member to volunteer for a day with the nonprofit, and donate advertising throughout the year to the organization.

As many people already know, Habitat for Humanity International builds affordable housing for people in need around the world. Volunteers provide most of the labor, but the family or individual selected to receive the housing must make mortgage payments on their new home and, most notably, put a required amount of sweat equity into their new home.

Locally, Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley builds homes from Aspen to Parachute, and since its inception in 2000 has built houses for families in places such as Glenwood Springs and Emma. Earlier this month, it broke ground on a new two-story home in Carbondale. The family of seven that ultimately will purchase this home currently is living in a 12-by-14-foot room.

So we urge other individuals and businesses to pick a worthy charity and support it. For more information on local nonprofits, check out aspenphilanthropist.com. Or potential donors can visit aspencommunityfoundation.org for donor services, including meeting with an advisor to help you meet philanthropic goals. Another list of worthwhile organizations can be found at http://www.aspenpitkin.com/misc/visitors/arts.cfm.

The Aspen Times looks forward to swinging hammers and installing drywall alongside other volunteers and Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley recipients. It’ll be a good way to shed some of those extra holiday pounds.

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