Area’s spirit of giving a big part of its beauty

Whether it’s a direct donation or an indirect benefit from holding an event, the generosity of area businesses and charities is a big part of what makes the Boulder Valley such a special place in which to live and work.

A great example is Longmont-based nonprofit food bank Community Food Share, which met a fundraising goal 10 days ahead of its Dec. 31 challenge deadline. Community Food Share raised $1.025 million in that fundraising challenge. That money will help pay for a 68,000-square-foot warehouse building at 650 Taylor Ave. in the Colorado Technology Center business park in Louisville. The food bank bought the building after outgrowing its current 22,400-square-foot location in the Monarch Business Park in Niwot. Now it’s seeking donations to buy industrial coolers and freezers for the warehouse. Donations can be made online at www.communityfoodshare.org.

Here are just a few of the good deeds done in 2012:

Elevations Foundation, the nearly 3-year-old charitable arm of Boulder-based Elevations Credit Union, delivered more than $240,000 in financial aid to local communities in 2012. Grantees include Alliance for Suicide Prevention Thorne Nature Experience, Alternatives to Violence, Eco-Cycle, Reflections for Youth Growing Gardens, Second Wind Fund of Boulder County, Earth Explorers, Veterans Helping Veterans Now, Cal-Wood Environmental Center, Bal Swan Children’s Center, Wild Plum Center, Bright Eyes, Mayor’s Book Club, Acorn School, Read Aloud Loveland and Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning.

Longmont-based Left Hand Brewing Co. raised $276,693.63 for charity in 2012. Recipients included Bike MS and Team Left Hand Brewing, Paws in the Park, Leftpalooza, Longmont Oktoberfest, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Longmont Humane Society, Bicycle Longmont, Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Skyline Kiwanis, and the Dark Star and Cold Brews event, which raised $16,932.80 for wildfire relief. Left Hand also contributed $22,000 in retail value of in-kind donations to the community.

Foothills United Way’s ninth Socks and Mittens Drive collected 1,600 cold-weather clothing items to be distributed to local nonprofit organizations to help children and adults in need. Included were 1,230 pairs of socks and mittens, 351 hats and scarves and 19 other assorted clothing items. Participating companies and organizations this year included Studio Bernina, Centennial Lending, Colorado Spirit! Chorus (a chapter of Sweet Adelines International), Emerson, Gold Systems, Key Equipment Finance, Level 3, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, RICOH and Stephen Sparn Architects as well as many individual donors.

Giving in Boulder County outpaces that of the rest of the state, according to a recently released study by the Sterling-Rice Group. The study, which was based on filings with the Internal Revenue Service for 2008 — the most recent numbers available — shows that, on average, county residents donated 1.92 percent of their incomes, compared with 1.89 percent for Colorado and 2.08 percent for the nation.

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