7 Fort Collins charities offer opportunities for International Day of Charity

Maddie Wright

Dictionary definition of the word "Charity"
(Photo courtesy Blue Diamond Gallery)

How to help nationally: 

Donate to United Way Relief Fund, Houston Food Bank, and The Bread of Life, Inc. to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

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As Labor Day comes to an end, the International Day of Charity begins. Sept. 5 is a day recognized by the United Nations as a way to recognize great global challenges. To scale it back down to Fort Collins and all this city has to offer, here are seven charities in Fort Collins and how to help.

1.Trees, Water & People

Cause: Environment

Mission: “To improve people’s lives by helping communities protect, conserve, and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends.”

What they do: Based out of Fort Collins, this group does projects in Latin America. Current projects include cookstoves, reforestation, renewable energy and sustainable building.

How to help: Travel to one of their locations in Latin America to offer help, the next trip is to Honduras during Winter Break, volunteer or intern for administrative work and donate money.

2.The Matthews House

Cause: Youth

Mission: “To empower youth and families by building trusting relationships and providing resources to disrupt the cycles of poverty and abuse.”

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What they do: Help youth and families cultivate skills to move towards being self sustainable and independent through activities and events, specifically within the areas of safe and affordable housing, physical and mental health, employment, education and independent living and social skills.

How to help: Volunteer, become a homework helper for kids in grades second through eighth after school and donate.

3.Respite Care, INC

Cause: Disabilities

Mission: “To provide short term, quality care for children with developmental disabilities, giving respite to their families, and enhancing the quality of life for the entire family.”

What they do: Provide day care like services for children with developmental disabilities. But, it does not stop there, there is a wide range of activities including field trips, camps and even prom.

How to help: Become an ambassador, a volunteer, host a fundraiser, become an employee and donate.

4. Larimer Humane Society

Cause: Animals

Mission: “To further the compassionate, safe, and responsible relationship between animals and people.”

What they do: Provide safety and compassion for animals without a good home, reunite owners with lost pets, find new homes for animals, deals with animal cruelty and much more.

How to help: Volunteer in animal care, volunteer as a photographer or videographer, volunteer as a greeter and animal liaison, volunteer for community outreach, foster a pet and donate.

5. FoCo Cafe

Cause: Food

Mission: “To build community by providing nutritious and delicious meals to the people of Fort Collins regardless of their ability to pay while using mostly local, organic and sustainably grown ingredients.”

What they do: Provide food for others on a pay-what-you-can basis encouraging those who can afford it to pay it forward and those who can pay nothing come to enjoy a free meal and engage in community.

How to help: Donate materials or money and volunteer time.

6. Food Bank for Larimer County

Cause: Human services

Mission: “To provide food to all in need through community partnerships and hunger-relief programs.”

What they do: Give food to those who need it by receiving food donations and distributing it accordingly.

How to help: Volunteer to stock, repack, or distribute, advocate by educating yourself and calling congressional leaders, have a virtual food drive and donate money or food.

7. TEAM Wellness & Prevention

Cause: Substance abuse

Mission: “To promote healthy lifestyles through the prevention of substance abuse.”

What they do: Create programs for youth to prevent substance abuse.

How to help: Volunteer and go to fundraising activities.

On a more national level consider Houston Flood Relief.

After Hurricane Harvey hit, Houston took a toll. There are many organizations collecting donations to help the people and the town that got massively hit. Some organizations are United Way Relief Fund, Houston Food Bank, and The Bread of Life, Inc.

Collegian reporter Maddie Wright can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MaddieRWright.