hands holding ornament-photo by brigitte tohm via Unsplash

More ways to give back during the holidays

December 17, 2019

Like many people during the holidays, CU Denver students, faculty, alumni, and staff are busy. At times it’s difficult to think about where we might volunteer our time, donate items, or contribute money. Even if we want to give seasonal gifts to nonprofits that could use help, we might not know where to go. Continuing our November list of ways to give back, here we offer a shortlist of reputable charities.

CU Denver graduates truly give back to the community. Our alumni work with all of these Denver-area charities. Hopefully, they will inspire others to find a cause they’re passionate about and support it. Happy giving!  

View of city from big window
Students can help during the holiday season by donating items to the Food Pantry or giving money to Loving Lynx. Faculty and staff can volunteer for nonprofit organizations.

On Campus

CU in the Community

Members of the CU Denver community can volunteer their time through the CU in the Community program. All faculty and staff are given one half-day of work time (four hours) to go into the community and volunteer with a nonprofit organization of their choice or an organization on the CU in the Community list of featured partners. This is a great way for faculty and staff to contribute to the university’s mission of having a positive community impact.

Food Pantry

Donate non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products for students in need. Please drop off all donations for the Food Pantry at the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center welcome desk.

Loving Lynx

The Loving Lynx Emergency Fund helps students solve unexpected financial hardships. The fund helps individuals in many circumstances, from students who have lost jobs to those who have experienced a natural disaster. Donate here.

downtown Denver
CU Denver graduates work for nonprofit organizations throughout metro Denver that could use volunteers and/or donations.

In and Around Denver 

Community First Foundation

A nonprofit that helps nonprofits, Community First Foundation improves communities by encouraging giving. President and CEO Kelly Dunkin, a graduate of the School of Public Affairs, wants to promote philanthropy at all levels. Community First Foundation offers programs like ColoradoGives.org, which lists local nonprofits, and KidsforColoradoGives.org, which connects young givers to local causes. The foundation gets a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, with a 94+ overall rating (out of 100).

Global Livingston Institute

Global Livingston Institute logo

Named after Colorado entrepreneur and philanthropist Johnston R. Livingston, the Global Livingston Institute (GLI) promotes education and job creation in Uganda and Rwanda. CU Denver alum Jamie Van Leeuwen, who earned his PhD in public policy, founded GLI to educate students and community leaders about international development in a different way, finding responsive approaches that truly understand the needs of the local community. GLI accepts donations through PayPal. They also welcome high school and college students, community leaders, and independent researchers on immersion trips and internships in East Africa.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver logo

Help low-income families get a new home through Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. The nonprofit also helps existing homeowners in need of financial assistance make home improvements such as new windows, doors, and roofs. Heather Lafferty, who earned her MBA from CU Denver, serves as CEO. Charity Navigator gives Habitat an overall score of 95 (out of 100). Donate money to transform future homes or donate furniture, appliances, and building materials to ReStore. Individuals and groups can also volunteer to build a Habitat home (no experience needed).

Hog Haven Farm

Hog Haven Farm logo

Did you know that pigs live between 15 – 20 years? Many people who buy pigs as pets often give them up, which is why Erin Brinkley-Burgardt founded Hog Haven Farm. Erin, a CU Denver grad, is the executive director of the pig sanctuary in Deer Trail, Colorado, which provides a home for over 100 miniature and standard-sized breeds—and their therapy pigs periodically visit students on campus. Hog Haven Farm welcomes volunteers May through September. They also accept financial contributions. Or you can shop their Amazon Wish List, which includes everything from mini-pig treats ($7.88) to galvanized steel water troughs ($92.78).

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

NCADV logo

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is a Denver-based non-profit that has been working to end domestic violence since 1978. Programs include domestic violence education such as Take a Stand FOR Healthy Relationships, which teaches students about healthy relationships, and Remember My Name, which honors women, children, and men killed by their abusers. Charity Navigator gives the organization a four-star rating with high marks for accountability and transparency. Ruth Glenn, NCADV CEO, is a CU Denver graduate and survivor of domestic abuse. Donate here.

Do you work or volunteer for a nonprofit organization? We would love to hear from CU Denver students, faculty, staff, and alumni about the work they do in the community.