Monday evening, a group of SJK volunteers attended the Lakewood City Council meeting in support of grant funding for the Outdoor Lab Foundation, which is used to help fund some of the neediest students in Lakewood. Without these types of donations as well as other community fundraisers, the Outdoor Lab experience would continue to be cut.
Nonprofits are most often formed to fill a need in the community when government funding is insufficient to serve all individuals in the community. Instead of hiring staff, a smaller donation is given to a nonprofit to coordinate action with volunteers to fill the needs at a fraction of the cost of government entities providing the services directly.
Sadly, not everyone understands this structure or the value of such service to the community or the cost savings. Walking neighborhoods and selling cookie dough just isn’t practical or efficient for most nonprofits, they depend on grants and generosity of communities to survive as well as the manpower of the community in volunteering.
Lakewood has a committee that reviews the grant applications and organizes the suggested donations. Each of the nonprofits on the list were extremely worthy and necessary in the community, benefitting the neediest and at-risk in the community. However, each year, someone questions whether the City should be involved in the grants and it proved disastrous previously due to confusion about the history of these grants.
Thank you Mayor Adam Paul and Lakewood City Council Members Shakti, Barb Franks, Dana Gutwein, Karen Harrison, Charley Able, and Scott Koop for voting in favor of continued funding to 12 nonprofits making an impact in our community. Send them a thank you, please! – firstname.lastname@example.org
However, to the Council Members who voted no to funding the grants, we ask that they consider the services that are provided to the community and whether those individuals in their community are of value to them as their elected representatives as well as detailing the costs of the City of Lakewood in providing the services directly AND the costs of putting an issue on the ballot and running the campaign (as one suggested.) The arguments against were extremely weak. They each noted that they would personally donate prior to voting no, so we hope every nonprofit will reach out to them and report back when they actually do provide donations (rumor has it, those personal donations weren’t actually occurring.) This was very difficult to listen to by those in attendance doing the volunteer work.
Mayor Adam Paul was a strong supporter and his words were very much appreciated by those in attendance. “I will continue to champion this as long as I’m mayor of this community.”
Family Tree, Inc. $15,000
Jefferson County Library Foundation $12,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver $10,000
Outdoor Lab Foundation $10,000
Ralston House $10,000
Seniors’ Resource Center, Inc. $10,000
Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado Foundation
(d/b/a St. Anthony Health Foundation) $9,740
Hands of The Carpenter $6,000
The Action Center $5,000
Second Wind Fund, Inc. $5,000
CASA Jeffco/Gilpin) $4,800
Lakewood Symphony Orchestra $2,460
To those in attendance, thank you. To those who advocate, thank you. To those who volunteer for these organizations, thank you. To those who support these organizations with your donations, thank you. YOU make a difference and make Lakewood and Jeffco a great place to live!