Strength and hope are abundant!
As 2023 comes to a close, we reflect on the strength and hope that is all around us. For the past seven years, our Angels Among Us segment has featured nonprofits and people who are using their voices and abilities to bring incredible impacts to the community and beyond. This year, we featured 12 stories. Thank you to each of these organizations for visiting with us and allowing us to share their purpose and missions. These heroes and champions of cause inspire so many, and for that, we at The Castle Pines Connection are grateful.
Treeline Pass is a day program for adults with developmental disabilities and autism founded by The Village at Castle Pines residents Kari and Matt Ansay. Through hope, humanity and abundant love, the staff at Treeline Pass provides life skills, friendships and lots of fun so this vulnerable population can enjoy full and enriched lives. Learn more at www.treelinepass.org.
There is a place in downtown Parker that is a home away from home for the 50+ community. The Parker Senior Center is a membership-based, nonprofit organization that offers fun, laughter and friendship with all sorts of group activities. The average age of members is 75, but the range is from 50 to 100. Learn more at parkerseniorcenter.org.
Together Women Rise cultivates the collective power of community to achieve global gender equality. What started 20 years ago as collective giving among a group of friends has blossomed into an organization with 380 chapters across the country, including 22 in Colorado, with hopes of adding more. Learn more at togetherwomenrise.org.
Castle Pines resident, Catherine Ojala, is inspiring women everywhere by telling her story as a refugee. She put pen to paper with her first book, I Am Goodness. Through her words, she gives strength and confidence to women everywhere in hopes they, too, will use their voices and share their own stories. Learn more at catherineojala.com.
For 34 years, the Women’s Bean Project has been helping women create a fresh start with self-sufficiency through social enterprise. The six-to-nine-month journey includes extensive counseling, training classes, on-the-job training and learning to be an accountable employee. Learn more at womensbeanproject.com.
First responders put themselves in harm’s way every day to make sure others are safe and cared for in the worst of times. Unfortunate events impact helpers too, and when they do, South Metro Professional Firefighters Foundation is ready to step in. From care and support to financial assistance, SMPFF is a light in the darkest of times. Any Colorado first responder experiencing hardship is eligible to apply for benefits. Learn more at SMPFF.org.
On the second Wednesday of the second month of each quarter, a group of guys called Guys Who Give meet at Lone Tree Brewing Company to grab a beer and combine forces to provide meaningful and collective financial support to local nonprofits. It is an organic way to create community without a lot of effort. This national nonprofit has more than 15 chapters across the country. Learn more at guyswhogive.org.
On the first Monday of February, May, August and November, 100 Women Who Care Douglas County gather to celebrate local nonprofits. Three individuals champion organizations they have researched from a fully vetted list of local nonprofits. At meetings end, one nonprofit is selected and receives a check totaling the collected funds. Members donate a minimum of $100 at each meeting to support the selected nonprofit. Learn more at 100womenwhocaredouglascounty.com.
Eighteen miles southwest of Castle Pines sits The Random Ranch, a beautiful place for animals of all kinds to live out their remaining years in glorious form. Education is at the core of founder Amy Bennett’s motivation. She strives to function as a resource before families acquire animals, with the intention of deterring impulsive purchases or breeding. Learn more at therandomranch.com.
The first girl arrived at New Horizons House in Andhra Pradesh, India five years ago. Today, about 65 girls, ages 12 to 21, are there rehabilitating from human trafficking. Sedalia resident Jonathan Spencer is one of the founders. The property is full of mango groves and butterflies – a beautiful place for new beginnings. Learn more at newhorizonshouse.org.
Honor their sacrifice. Educate their legacy. That is the beautiful mission of Folds of Honor, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational assistance to dependents of those who sacrifice so much – fallen and disabled military members and first responders. Learn more at denver.foldsofhonor.org.
When a service member retires from the military, evaluations are made on mental and physical health to establish disability for pensions and compensations. For some, navigating the system with the Department of Veterans Affairs is challenging. Through volunteer doctors and lawyers, Project One Vet @ a Time helps veterans with the lengthy and costly claims process at no cost to them. Learn more at projectovat.org.
To read the original stories about our 2023 featured Angel Among Us, visit castlepinesconnection.com and click on the “Angels Among Us” link in the lower right corner, under “Special Segments.”
By Elean Gersack