The GroundFloor Media (GFM) Get Grounded Foundation is proud to have supported a variety of youth service organizations in the Denver Metro area focused on child abuse and neglect, youth behavioral health or childhood hunger relief.
Fall 2016 Grantees
Child Advocates - Denver CASA
“Child Advocates - Denver CASA is extraordinarily grateful for The Get Grounded Foundation's support in getting the Youth Empowerment Program off of the ground. Many of the children we work with are on track to age out of foster care by the age of 18 without typical growing up experiences, like applying for jobs, opening bank accounts or giving back to their communities. Through workshops, trainings and monthly activities, the Youth Empowerment Program will greatly increase the likelihood of participants securing stable employment, leading healthy lives and, most importantly, being able to cope with the trauma they have experienced in a productive way. The Get Grounded Foundation's generous support will ensure that young victims of abuse and neglect will leave the system empowered and with a voice of their own.” - Julie Wilson, Director of Fund Development and Public Relations
Denver Indian Family Resource Center
“Denver Indian Family Resource Center is delighted to continue our partnership with the Get Grounded Foundation. Last year, funding from the foundation supported providing craft materials for American Indian and Alaska Native children to assist them in developing connections with their culture. Our funding allowed us to begin offering monthly Culture Nights, which are now open events for the community to join us in learning about and creating a traditional art or craft. We thank the foundation for their continued support!” - Sarah M. Nelson, LSW, MPH, Deputy Director
Denver Urban Scholars
“At Denver Urban Scholars, we are excited to strengthen and expand our sixth grade group mentoring program with support from The Get Grounded Foundation. This program introduces youth, in a group setting with their peers, to the idea of having a mentor prior to being matched in seventh grade with a one-to-one mentor. By engaging students early on in this enhanced programming, we are building confidence and relationship skills that will ensure long-term impact.” - Susan Duncombe, Vice President of Programs
ECDC - African Community Center
“The ECDC - African Community Center is deeply committed to the inclusion and personal growth of refugee youth in the Denver community. Through our Youth 4 Youth mentoring program, refugee youth will be paired to facilitate rich conversations about diversity, leadership and community engagement. The ECDC - African Community Center thanks The Get Grounded Foundation for its dedication to supporting marginalized youth in our community.” - Melissa Theesen, Managing Director
“PlatteForum is thrilled to partner again with GroundFloor Media and The Get Grounded Foundation. Their generous support has truly helped promote our mission to improve high school graduation rates and promote community involvement through the arts.” - Kim Estes McCarty, Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center
“Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center has a long history of finding innovative ways to supplement our legal services for abused and trauma-affected children, and our yoga program adds another evidence-based approach to helping children heal and thrive. We are so grateful for the generous support of The Get Grounded Foundation for this program and for all of their great work for children in Colorado.” - Becky Miller Updike, Executive Director
Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters Colorado
“In the coming year, Share our Strength and the No Kid Hungry Colorado campaign are doubling down on our investment in a two-generation approach to ending childhood hunger, focusing more efforts on educating young, low-income parents of zero to five year-old children. Support from The Get Grounded Foundation will help us meet the specific needs of this population with tailored nutrition and food skills programming. We look forward to strengthening the physical and financial health of young Colorado families in partnership with the foundation.” - Kelleen Zubick, Colorado State Director
Spring 2016 Grantees
Autism Society of Colorado | Latino Connections
The mission of the Autism Society of Colorado (ASC) is to improve the lives of all affected by autism. This includes families, providers, educators and members of the community. Currently one out of every 45 children is diagnosed with autism. ASC works to advocate, inform and share the autism journey with thousands of Coloradans. The Get Grounded Foundation grant will help launch the ASC’s new “Latino Connections” program, an educational initiative that will provide additional education and access to Latinos, Hispanics and Spanish-speaking families with children who have been diagnosed with autism in the Denver area.
“I’m excited to officially launch the Latino Connections initiative because it will create a safe and inclusive environment for Latino families to share their autism journey.”
- Dana Meeker, Programs Director
Mount Saint Vincent | Foster Care Program
Mount Saint Vincent is a Denver-based treatment center for children ages 5 to 12 who face severe behavioral and emotional challenges due to trauma, mental illness, abuse or neglect. It specializes in delivering behavioral health services to children and their families, helping children reach their full potential within their homes, schools and communities. The foundation grant will help Mount Saint Vincent launch its new foster care program.
"The decision to offer foster care services aligns with our longstanding mission to serve the needs of children. As a child-focused agency, we are uniquely positioned to provide foster caregivers support and instruction based on the principles of trauma-informed care. We are
deeply honored and thankful to have earned the support of the Get Grounded Foundation, who are helping us realize our goal of keeping children where they belong – in safe, loving and supportive homes." - Kirk Ward, LCSW, Executive Director and Clinical Director
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch | Equine Therapy Program
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch serves as a sanctuary and place of healing for both humans and animals in the Denver area. The Get Grounded Foundation grant will fund Zuma’s ZEAL program, which will provide the opportunity for children living at group homes to participate in Zuma’s therapeutic summer camp.
“Getting a $5,000 grant for our children’s ZEAL program will provide the opportunity for kids living at group homes to join us in a therapeutic summer camp. Kids without homes feel less left behind and lost, as Zuma’s herd of horses that were also once homeless and lost are kindred spirits to these kids. Pairing the homeless children and once homeless horses in a safe setting opens the stage for recovery of one’s lost identity. Mentors, counselors and therapists have developed programs that help these kids find purpose, develop self-esteem and learn to cope with the hand life has dealt them.”
- Jodi Messenich, Founder and Executive Director
Denver Indian Family Resources Center | Culturally Appropriate Crafts
The Denver Indian Family Resources Center (DIFRC) used its grant funding to purchase culturally appropriate crafts for caseworkers to use when meeting with American Indian and Alaska Native children in the Denver urban area who may be victims of abuse and/or neglect or receiving therapeutic services. These materials can be used for creating culturally appropriate crafts like dream catchers and journey sticks, beading and weaving to help reduce the impact of traumatic events and increase cultural connectedness.
“The DIFRC is so excited and grateful for the generous gift from the Get Grounded Foundation to support culturally appropriate activities for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. We plan on using funding to provide children and their families with opportunities for growth in traditional cultural skills and knowledge, particularly for children who are currently in out-of-home placement as we support reunification with their families through supervised visitation, intensive case management and therapy. Beading, drum making and regalia crafting will be incorporated throughout the therapeutic and case management processes to provide children with comfortable and inherent activities that have been ingrained in their culture for centuries. We can't wait to provide families with these opportunities in the coming months." - Sarah M. Nelson, LSW, MSW, MPH (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Project Supervisor
PlatteForum | Denver Soil Bank
PlatteForum, a nonprofit organization supporting contemporary artists and underserved youth in metro Denver, used its grant to support its artist-in-residence program, specifically its residency with artist and environmental researcher Jennifer Stratton. Youth from Cole Middle School Boys & Girls Club joined Stratton for a series of interactive learning workshops and to create the first ever Denver Soil Bank, an evolving collection and exchange of community soils and stories. The program culminated in the completion of a body of work by Stratton and the children that was on exhibit to the public at PlatteForum during the month of October.
"This project has challenged Denver’s urban youth to think about their relationship to the ground beneath their feet...and engage the larger community in creating the first Denver Soil Bank. They have literally been grounded through your support.” - Alexandria Jimenez, Program Director
Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center | The Birthday Bash
The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center (RMCLC) grant is being used to fund its new “Birthday Bash” program, which allows guardians ad litem and members of the RMCLC clinical team to participate with children in celebrating important events and rites of passage. RMCLC staff and volunteers use these opportunities to help underserved, poverty-level youth participate in fun activities as forums for learning life skills and developing a sense of self-efficacy. RMCLC was founded in 1985 to transform the lives of abused, neglected and at-risk children through compassionate legal advocacy, education and public policy reform in response to the critical lack of quality legal representation for these children in Colorado.
"The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center (RMCLC) is thrilled to be the recipient of a gift from the Get Grounded Foundation, which will help us to launch a new program designed to provide special celebrations and activities for abused and neglected youth. Children who are in the foster care system often miss out on important activities and rituals that all children look forward to with great anticipation such as birthdays, holidays, or even just being able to go to a baseball game. This generous gift provides the guardians ad litem or other members of the RMCLC staff and volunteers the resources to utilize these experiences as a forum for teaching life skills and helping kids develop a sense of self-efficacy (e.g., learning how to use public transportation), as well as give them an opportunity to experience something truly joyful that they may not have had a chance to do otherwise. This is an exciting opportunity, and we are beyond grateful for the generosity of groups like the Get Grounded Foundation who recognize the importance of a child just being a child." - Tera Prim, (Former) Director of Development
Tennyson Center for Children | Animal-Assisted Therapy Program
The Tennyson Center for Children (TCC) is a nonprofit organization that provides residential and therapeutic services, as well as a K-12 school, to Colorado children who have survived severe abuse or neglect, or have significant mental health or developmental issues. Through this grant, they were able to launch a new program, providing children who have experienced trauma with animal-assisted therapy (AAT). Children often view animals as non-judgmental and are better able to share and disclose painful feelings during AAT, which then makes it possible for the therapist to address the child’s issues.
During its first two rounds of grants, the Foundation awarded a total of nearly $30,000 to seven outstanding local community programs supporting youth services:
- Autism Society of Colorado
- Denver Indian Family Resources Center
- Mount Saint Vincent
- Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center
- Tennyson Center for Children
- Zuma’s Rescue Ranch