How to get invovled with non-profits in Summit County, CO |

How to get invovled with non-profits in Summit County, CO


Become a part of history with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance! Join our creative group, don Victorian-era outfits and guide walking tours around town.

This is a part-time position. Please send resume to


The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance graciously accepts financial contributions for our programming, capital preservation projects, and operating costs. Please contact us if you have a question about charitable donations to the Alliance. Do you have a story about Breckenridge you’d like to share with us? Please call 970-453-9767, x101 or email and tell us your story. We may incorporate it into a future program, exhibit or film.


As a Member, you will not only help us preserve our past, but you also receive great membership benefits. All proceeds directly benefit our programs and projects.

FRIENDS OF THE BHA – The “Friends of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance” is a social group that volunteers time to support the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. We are always looking for volunteers to help with events, historical research, museum programs, office assistance, and much more!

Family and Intercultural Resource Center

(970) 262-3888.

The Family and Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) works to promote stable families locally by providing them with the tools to become self-sufficient through a variety of initiatives, including parenting education, early-childhood development, homelessness prevention through rent and utility assistance and cultural integration for families, immigrants and refugees.

The nonprofit serves more than 3,700 people a year. Through its parenting classes, home visits and parenting groups and activities, the FIRC aims to help parents give their children the best start to life possible. Emergency rent, utility or medical assistance is available to locals once a year, or twice every five years depending on the situation. The nonprofit’s representatives will sit down with requesters, work on long-term goals for stability, help with budgeting and, if needed, put them in touch with other community resources.

FIRC hosts one of Summit County’s largest food banks, a staple of the community for more than a decade. It also runs Summit Thrift and Treasure in Dillon and in Breckenridge. The stores offer numerous necessities such as winter clothing, blankets and dishes and supports more than 35 percent of FIRC’s operating costs. Families that cannot afford clothing can also receive gift certificates to the store through the organization.

This year, FIRC moved from Dillon to a new location (251 W. 4th St.) in Silverthorne. The new building holds 25 staff members, a larger food bank, a teaching kitchen for nutrition classes, a classroom for parenting and life-skill classes and a childcare room used during these classes.

The organization accepts donations year-round, but its biggest money makers include the Hearthstone Wine dinner in September; Summit County Cares, an annual fundraising campaign held every winter; and a fashion show that, in its third year, raised more than $75,000 for emergency assistance and parenting education programs.


Summit County Cares is the largest emergency-assistance fund in the county, with 100 percent of donations supporting locals facing emergencies of eviction, disconnection of heat and electricity or medical care.

The fund assists people in need through local organizations, including the Family and Intercultural Resource Center, Advocates for Victims of Assault, Summit Community Care Clinic and Summit County Social Services. The Summit Foundation oversees Summit County Cares.

Last year the Summit County Cares holiday fundraiser brought in over $45,000 and was able to help over 800 locals facing eviction, disconnection of heat or in need of medical care.

A FIRC survey showed that 84 percent of people who responded to having housing assistance have moved from a crisis or vulnerable situation into a safe or stable situation. More than 97 percent of FIRC clients face financial struggles because of sudden or seasonal job loss, reduction of hours, a medical emergency keeping them from work or the need to get out of an abusive relationship.

Donations are accepted year round through the Summit County Cares fund set up with The Summit Foundation at

High Country Conservation Center

(970) 668-5703

The High Country Conservation Center, known locally as HC3, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting solutions to and improving awareness of resource conservation.

community gardens

Summit County currently boasts five different community gardens — Silvana’s Community Garden in Silverthorne, Nancy’s Community Garden and the Living Classroom in Frisco, the Breckenridge Community Garden at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Breckenridge and the Dillon Valley Elementary Garden at Dillon Valley Elementary School.

The Living Classroom is housed at HC3 headquarters on Frisco’s Main Street and is the location for many educational classes about sustainable gardening and organic produce. It was created in 2011 and consists of a greenhouse and 20 plots. A “plot” is a single section (of varying sizes, depending on the garden), which can be owned or co-owned by community members wanting to grow their own gardens.

Plot owners pay a fee for their plot and then are free to plant and grow their own food. Educational classes are available for first-time gardeners, or people who want help planning out their garden.

Plot owners then are free to do whatever they want with the food produced from their plants — take it home, swap with fellow gardeners for variety, give it away to friends or even donate it to local community dinners and food banks.

HC3 works with the community gardens under a group called the Summit Community Garden Network. Through the network, the gardens share resources and volunteers and, in the future, may plan events together. As the popularity of the community gardens grows, the network will serve to bring everyone together.

urban farming

Community-supported agriculture, or CSA, is a nationwide trend that allows people who do not have the space available for gardening or farming, such as those living in urban areas, to become involved in local farming practices and benefit from them. Those who want to buy in are called shareholders. They pay the CSA a certain amount of money for the season upfront. Then, after the food is grown and harvested, the shareholders receive a portion of the harvest.

2012 saw the first CSA in Summit County in the form of WisePlant Farm, which grew out of Nancy’s Community Garden in Frisco. In 2013, HC3 took over the project, renaming it Summit CSA. The CSA will run for 15 weeks from late June through October. Each week participants will get a box of organic produce including heirloom varieties of common vegetables, grown right here in Summit County. CSA members do not choose what is in their weekly shares; rather they are provided with an assortment of what is available throughout the season on the farm. Shares will also include recipes and information about the produce.

Mission: To promote practical solutions for waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community.

Major programs: Energy Efficiency (audits and upgrades), Sustainable Business Programs, Waste Reduction (recycling and composting), Sustainable Food (farm-share and community gardens).

Major events:

• Tim McClure Memorial Benefit

• Earth Day Action Fair

• Annual Harvest Dinner at Vinny’s Restaurant

• Green Living, Food and Energy Workshops

Rotary Club of Summit County

When people first join a local Rotary chapter, they are members. When they find their niche, they are Rotarians — or so they say.

A person need not have a specialty in mind when joining the Rotary. Through service, they will find their calling, and in the High Country, there are always opportunities to give back.

Though Rotary is an international organization, local chapters can vary greatly from one area to the next. However, they all share one common goal: Service as a basis of worthy enterprise.

The Rotary Club of Summit County has its own unique mountain flavor, highlighted by the Community Dinners at the Elk’s Lodge in Silverthorne organized by Deborah Hage.

“What makes the Community Dinner a community dinner is that a cross-section of all members of the Summit County community come together to dine,” Hage said. “All residents and visitors in Summit County are not only welcome but encouraged to come and share in a common meal with people from all walks of life. None of us is too rich or too poor to participate in the fellowship provided.”

The dinners regularly draw 300 or more people from the community — from local families to seasonal ski bums to visitors.

As much of a staple as the Community Dinners are, they represent only a fraction of what local Rotary members contribute to the community. The Rotary Club of Summit County boasts programs for international student exchange, improving literacy, promoting service in local schools and countless others.

The organization raises more than $125,000 per year through donations and fundraisers. This money goes to support programs locally and globally. The most recognizable annual fundraising events the local Rotary hosts each year are the Dillon Ice Melt and the Krystal 93 Festival in the Park. The Ice Melt is a raffle wherein participants attempt to guess the date and time that a barrel placed on the icy surface of Lake Dillon during the dead of winter will finally break through the ice. The Festival in the Park event replaced the Krystal 93 BBQ at the Summit this year, featuring food trucks, BBQ, games for kids and musical entertainment.

Mission: Encouraging and fostering the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.


• Krystal 93 Festival in the Park

• Dillon Ice Melt

• Car Raffle

• 9Health Fair

• Scholarships

• Disaster relief

• And more

Summit Community Care Clinic

(970) 668-4040

Just over 20 years ago, Summit County doctor Jim Oberheide wrote a letter. Addressed to the medical community, the letter put forth in words what Oberheide and others, including Marilyn Repscher, of Public Health, had been feeling for some time about the state of health care affordability in the county — that it was too expensive for a significant group of people.

“We started seeing an increasing need for taking care of uninsured and underinsured people,” Oberheide said of the late 1980s. “We felt that a lot of people were falling through the cracks and it would be a good idea to see what we could do to set up a clinic to see people (who) couldn’t afford to go to private offices.”

This idea— based on need seen throughout the community— became the seed for what would soon become the Summit Community Care Clinic.

“I think we as a group can be effective in some way, however small, in improving the care available to some of the less fortunate people in Summit County,” Oberheide’s letter stated.

a developing service

The clinic first opened its doors in 1993. Managed by Summit County Public Health, it began as a one-night-a-week, walk-in clinic running entirely on volunteer effort, from Public Health and local physicians. At that time, the mission of the clinic was to provide those with little to no insurance access to basic health care. In the first year the clinic had 294 visits, last year it was over 19,000 visits.

Those working at the clinic quickly found plenty of people eager and ready to use the offered services. Though it started as a place to treat occasional illness such as cold or flu, soon they realized that more was needed.

Over the years, the care clinic has expanded both its staff and its services. Through donations and grant money, it brought on paid staff, from physicians and nurses to coordinators and front-desk staff. In 2006, it gained nonprofit status, separating from Public Health. Today, the majority of those working at the clinic are salaried, although plenty of volunteers throughout the Summit medical community continue to offer their time and services when they can.

“The focus now is really on holistic, integrated, exceptional health care,” said Sarah Vaine, executive director of the clinic.

She said with each visit, the clinic assesses not only current wellness but overall needs of the patient. Having this information not only allows the clinic to take care of any current issues but potentially avoid further problems in the future, or guide patients to other Summit County organizations, such as the Family & Intercultural Resource Center, to

find assistance.

Mission: The mission of the Summit Community Care Clinic (Care Clinic) is to provide exceptional, integrated, patient-centered health care services designed to meet the needs of people who experience barriers to accessing care, regardless of their ability to pay.

Event: Soup for the Soul

The Summit Foundation

(970) 453-5970

Established in 1984 by Breckenridge Ski Resort,

The Summit Foundation is a community foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents and guests of Summit County and neighboring communities.

The Foundation raises funds to grant to nonprofit organizations that foster health and human service, education, art and culture, sports and recreation and environmental stewardship. In its fall 2013 and spring 2014 giving cycles, the community foundation awarded grants to about 90 nonprofits in Summit, Lake, Park and Grand Counties and distributed scholarships to enable 120 local high school graduates to pursue post-secondary education. The grants and scholarships awarded exceeded $2.2 million.

“I really do think they are the soul of this area,” said Meg Lass, whose marketing company Wilson Lass + Brandon worked to evolve The Foundation’s brand. The company created the swirling mountain-and-letters logo that the organization still uses, as well as the tag “Soul of the Summit.” Lass volunteered with the organization and served for 15 years on the Board of Trustees, as both vice president and president. One of her proudest moments with the organization, she said, was when it expanded to offer grants to Summit’s neighboring counties, such as Park, Grand and Lake. “People in those counties really support Summit County. We could not survive without the residents of our surrounding counties.”

The Foundation raises money through a series of programs, the largest of which is the Patron Pass Program, which sells transferable ski medallions entirely donated by local resorts. Sales generate more than $1 million annually. An employee giving initiative is the second largest fundraiser for The Foundation; employees pledge an amount that is deducted from each paycheck and sent to The Foundation on a regular basis — in many cases, the employer matches each dollar contributed. Funds are also raised through events such as an annual Great Rubber Duck Race, an annual golf tournament and Summit County Parade of Homes.

“The Summit Foundation has tended to be a reactive foundation, funding nonprofit grant requests,” director of development Kasey Provorse said of the organization. But in recent years, The Foundation has created special initiatives to address unmet community needs. Seeing a need for more students to be encouraged to attend college, The Foundation started the Pre-Collegiate Program at Summit High School. It is now in its second year of funding to provide after-school programming for local youth — a response to an outpouring of need from the community — as well as a youth giving council with Summit High School, which is allowing students to participate in the grant process.

“Thank you for supporting my education and helping my dreams come true,” wrote Flor Cruz-Valdez, a 2012 scholarship recipient and current CMC student. “Your financial support has been put to a good use. With your help, I was able to obtain a 4.0 semester GPA. As a first-generation college student, college has been a learning experience to its fullest, and I greatly appreciate your help.”

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