Colorado Gives Back

   Marianna Evangelista ‘21

LISTEN: Interview with Kelly Hercher from the Children’s Hospital Foundation

Seeing the balloon boy logo, a young girl, about four years old, comes up to Kelly Hercher, a worker in the Foundation at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Although young, she remembers how Children’s Hospital helped her sister through a difficult time of illness, as well as many others.       

The Balloon Boy Logo Inspires thousands of people to give back to Children’s Hospital.

Throughout Colorado, philanthropy is seen each and every day, supporting nonprofit organizations, helping the homeless, and supporting international causes throughout the world. Colorado dedicates a day each year in which everyone can give to support nonprofit organizations. This day is called

Colorado Gives Day which was held on the 4th of this month. “CGD services a day where everyone in CO really likes to rally together and feel like they’re a part of something bigger than them and they want to contribute to an organization that’s near and dear to their hearts,” Hercher said.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is just one of many nonprofit organizations that Colorado Gives Day (CGD) benefits.  This organization works hard each and every day to support kids in need and helps the kids recover from the illnesses they are facing. Kelly Hercher fully supports their cause and sees philanthropy in action each and every day, from both children and adults alike.

“A lot of kids, one of my favorite things, is they’ll do bake sales and lemonade stands out in their neighborhood and it’s adorable because they’ll make the cutest signs about why they want to raise money for Children’s,” said Hercher.

Children Hospital’s work is seen everywhere throughout Colorado. When Hercher goes out and asks kids if they know of someone who has been treated at Children’s or have been treated there themselves, about 90% of them raise their hands. This causes a multitude of generous donations from a countless number people who remember the way that Children’s Hospital has affected their lives.
 

“The fact that Children’s serves over around 230,000 different kids every year, that’s why we need the money. Children’s is a nonprofit organization and a non-profit hospital, so anything that we do make gets reinvested back into the mission,” Hercher said.

This year, Children’s is aiming for 70 million dollars. Hitting 58 million dollars at this time, their hope is to make it to their goal by December 31st, when people are feeling generous in the spirit of the Holiday season.  Last year, Children’s Hospital hit 55 million dollars, so each year they set a new and higher record as they treat more and more patients, touching more and more people’s lives.

Much of this money can be received through CGD which Children’s has been participating in from the time that it began. In 2017, they made 171,000 dollars. The donations seem to go up each year, so their goal is 172,000 dollars which sets the hospital that much closer to hitting their goal of 70 million dollars, helping the kids feel more comfortable during the holidays as well as contribute to the treatment of patients throughout the year.

“CGD raises a 171 thousand dollars and a lot of those donations are 50 or 100 or maybe 500 dollars and so that really speaks to how small donations, if you get a lot of people to rally together around a cause, can really add up to make a big difference,” Hercher said.

Regis Jesuit is another nonprofit organization that participates in CGD each year. Bethany Carmellini, Director of Annual and Giving Scholarships, works hard to earn money and promote this day as well as many other events for the school.

Although smaller than Children’s, Regis Jesuit sets up many important fundraisers, events, and opportunities in which the community can contribute. One of these is CGD which Regis Jesuit has been a part of for five years now. The school sets a goal to raise 200,000 dollars during CGD, at which point a group of donors will contribute an extra 25,000 dollars.

“It gives us the motivation and hopefully the community, the motivation to raise two hundred thousand dollars and then that additional twenty five thousand will be gifted to us from this group of donors,” Carmellini said.

This year, Regis Jesuit ended up raising a record breaking 254,000 dollars and unlocked the extra 25,000 from their donors.

Colorado Gives to nonprofits on December 4th each year

There are many other ways in which people can donate as well, such as the Inspire Ignite Fund.  This year its focus is on counseling and project based learning to improve student education. There are donations given through an endowment which is also used on the CGD website. This endowment is used as a way for Regis Jesuit to save money and contribute to the school in the future.

Just like Children’s, Regis Jesuit has affected many people through education and preparation for college. Although people do not have to give more than they already do, they continue giving, even after leaving Regis Jesuit. Parents, grandparents, alumni, and many others who have had a connection with the school in the past contribute to make the school a better place for the students. Typically, through just philanthropic gifts, Regis receives around three million dollars from these myriad of generous people.
 

“This is a philanthropic gift on top of on the tuition that they’re they’re paying just to have you guys come to school here, so it really is from a generous, generous group of people for sure,” Carmellini said.

Even though Regis themselves does not give money to the community, there are many service clubs within the school that help to contribute to others outside of the school’s community. One such club which is dedicated to financially supporting others is Cadre. This club collects money from students and distributes it to the various places the students within the club decide to send it to.

Cadre contributes to a variety of organizations locally and around the world. Many of these suggestions come from students. One recent suggestion was to collect money to build a well and water filtration system in Ghana. This idea was given by two students who had been there and been affected by the way the community seemed to work.

Students as well want to give back to the community, with around 150 members signed up to be a part of the Cadre club.  However, there are around 50-75 regular members collecting money and coming up with ideas for the club.

Before combining, the Boys and Girls Divisions separately collected around 10-15 thousand dollars a year. This year is the first time that they have been together, and now collect around  20,000 dollars.

 Many people both within the Regis Jesuit community and in the local community of Colorado feel the need to give back. In order help people do this, Colorado establishes Colorado Gives Day, which allows many nonprofit organizations to collect money, and the people affected by these organizations to give back to them. This year, with more than 157,000 donations that supported 2,481 nonprofit organizations, CGD raised 35.1 million dollars from the multitude of giving people in the state of Colorado.

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