Support our local nonprofits, volunteer your time

April 17, 2018

Hannah Harvey

hharvey@uccs.edu

This month, I’ve had the opportunity to make an impact in my community.

    A class I’m taking this semester required me to visit three local nonprofits and tour their facilities for a class assignment of evaluating their grant proposals to a local organization.

    After visiting these nonprofits, which included two homeless shelters and a women’s shelter, I began to realize the importance of getting involved in your community.

    When we have the opportunity to volunteer with nonprofits, whether that’s through a class or not, we see how our perspectives can intertwine with others. We see how we can bring a positive impact those who are disadvantaged.

    Colorado Springs has a vibrant nonprofit community. In the Pikes Peak Region alone, there are over 2,000 nonprofit organizations, according to a 2016 report by the Center of Nonprofit Excellence.

    Nonprofits exist to play a role in fostering the social and economic well-being of a community, according to Arkansas State University. Every sector of society can be supported by a nonprofit, from arts and culture, to education.

    These nonprofits serve a vital function to our community: providing resources that people may not get anywhere else, allocating resources for those in need and advocacy for those who cannot find it.

    Nonprofits might need our help. Several areas can be improved at nonprofit organizations, including fundraising, communications and marketing, program evaluation, performance management, technology and strategic planning, according to The Aspen Institute.

   While we, as students, can’t contribute to every item on that list, we can help with fundraising. Visit a site and get involved with their grant writing process. Donate money — anything helps.

    Supporting local nonprofits can make for a more vibrant community who are able to work interconnectedly and help each other. Donating your money and time helps someone else get back on their feet or provides them with resources that they don’t have.

    Nonprofits give the communities that they serve an important voice. Without their advocacy, the homeless population, men and women who are in abusive relationships, teenagers who are in unhealthy living situations and others may not be spoken for.

     By donating your time to a nonprofit, through being involved in their grant writing process to spending a few hours a week onsite, you are contributing to a revitalized community that has the ability to keep progressing.

    Volunteering is an enriching opportunity for students. It can show us what we are passionate about and why being involved in our communities is vital.

    We can have a hard time understanding what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes until we see what they look like for ourselves.

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