The first is Colorado Kids 1st. My friend Lisa is an emergency room physician and has a Masters in Public Health. Several years ago, she combined her interests and founded the Rocky Mountain Research and Prevention Institute to focus on issues of public health and safety in Colorado. The pet project of RMRPI for the past 5 years has been the Colorado Kids 1st license plate. If you live in Colorado, particlarly the Denver are, you may have seen this plate around town.
The hands in the middle are actual handprints of Dr. Lisa's three kids. The Kids 1st license plates are Colorado specialty plates. They cost $80 total. $50 of this goes to the Colorado Department of Transportation. This is a standard fee for every specialty plate in Colorado and covers road maintenance costs throughout the state.
The other $30 goes directly to Colorado non-profits whose programming supports child health and safety. Colorado Kids 1st accepts grant applications from any non-profit whose mission qualifies. I have to tell you, we've given out almost $20,000 in just the 6 months that I've been involved.
The stories are amazing. Money to the Anchor Center for Blind Children in Denver. The Anchor Center helps blind children with life skills that will help them to become independent adults - namely learning to walk in a world that they can't see. Money to the Gabby Krause Foundation. GKF gives "Bags of Joy" to kids suffering from pediatric cancer. These include games to keep them occupied during the endless hours spent in the hospital. Money for toothbrushes and thermometers for homeless mothers to give their children. Money for free carseats to underprivileged familes. Money to the Second Wind Fund who works to provide free counseling services to Colorado teenagers deemed at risk for suicide. The list goes one and on.
The Kids 1st plate is available all over the state of Colorado, and Lisa has been working to ensure that this direct funding program continues. We all know that the non-profit world is tiring - never enough resources, never enough volunteer hours, never enough staffing. But Lisa is tireless. I come home from meetings with her feeling like anything is possible!
Lisa has a quote by that she lives by. It, and she, inspire me everyday!
"Never doubt that a small group of individuals can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.
Want to find out more about Colorado Kids 1st, visit their website here.