Breckenridge event helps connect 120 people to 10 different nonprofits; organizers hope it’s just the beginning
Continuing a Night of Goodness
Below is a list of the 10 local nonprofits that participated in a Night of GOODness on Thursday. During the event, Summit County Youth set up a round-robin table system, allowing the roughly 120 people in attendance to rotate from one nonprofit’s service project to another’s. Included in the list below are websites and phone numbers designed to help connect people with volunteer opportunities at each organization.
970-547-3116 ext. 1
Source: Summit County Youth
Believing a community is better together, one local nonprofit is trying to connect people with other charitable organizations’ volunteer opportunities.
Summit County Youth — better known as SCY, pronounced like “sky” — has been serving Summit’s students and their families for almost four decades now. However, SCY cranked up the volume last Thursday by hosting “A Night of GOODness” at the Residence Inn by Marriot in Breckenridge.
Every year, SCY puts on a fundraiser called the “GOODness Epidemic,” in which the group gets local businesses and other sponsors to support its students’ and their families’ efforts to spread goodness through volunteerism.
The effort to expand the GOODness Epidemic into an outreach event at the organizational level grew out of a realization that many of SCY’s students were seeing their friends struggle with depression and other mental health issues, said executive director Brian Blacklock.
“We just decided that, in this GOODness Epidemic, we wanted to tackle that,” Blacklock said of the goal.
Studies have shown volunteerism can improve someone’s mental health by lowering depression levels, raising community engagement and growing networks of relationships.
Blacklock said none of that was lost SCY as organizers put together this event in which people were allowed to get to know the groups, what they do and try their hands at small service projects.
“We wanted to go big,” Blacklock said of getting more people on board to volunteer. “This is our organization spreading goodness to other organizations.”
For the event, SCY gathered 10 of Summit County’s largest nonprofit groups, including The Cycle Effect, Mountain Mentors, SOS Outreach, BreckCreate and Domus Pacis, just to name a few.
In turn, each organization offered short presentations, highlighting its service project, in addition to what the group does and whom it serves.
Participants then rotated between different tables set up for the organizations for about an hour while completing as many of the small service projects as they could.
The projects themselves were as diverse as the missions of the nonprofits, and covered everything from positive feelings to fundraising missions.
The Cycle Effect, for example, aims to get young girls into mountain biking, and they had people making key chains out of old bicycle chains to support that goal.
Meanwhile, Denver Children’s Hospital Colorado had people craft cards with words of encouragement for children seeking treatment at the hospital, saying things like “Get well soon” or “Keep going.”
For its project, the Animal Shelter of the Rockies asked people to stuff dog treats into bags, which will be sold at the shelter’s store with money from those sales going to support animal rescues all over the Front Range.
At the end of the night, SCY brought in YouTube.com sensation and founder of “Dude. Be Nice,” Brent Camalich, who shared an inspirational message before honoring two members of the community — longtime volunteers John and Dawn Koch — who “embody the GOODness lifestyle.” The same presentation was also given at Summit High School.
Altogether, about 120 people attended Thursday night’s event, Blacklock said, adding that many of them learned about organizations and opportunities they didn’t even know existed beforehand.
“It was a really exciting evening with a ton of energy,” he concluded. “If I could encapsulate it in one word, it was an ‘inspirational’ evening and people are stoked to give back.”
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