After giving away more than $3 million to environmental causes over 20 years through the employee-funded, employer-matched Environment Foundation, Aspen Skiing Company employees wanted to expand their outreach to tackle a broader range of issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley community.
Launched in the fall of 2016, the Caring for Community Fund is dedicated to bolstering education, mental health, addiction, and low-income support services from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. In its inaugural year of grant-making, the Caring for Community Fund awarded $35,500 in grants to 10 organizations operating in the Roaring Fork Valley. Organizations supported include Aspen Strong, English in Action, Pathfinders for Cancer, and the Valley Settlement Project.

Aspenstrong

​Aspen Strong is an organization that provides mental health services for residents of the Roaring Fork Valley. The Caring for Community Fund contributed $3,000 to their online mental health screening program that allows people to anonymously assess their mental health. Aspen Strong’s website acts as a central hub for mental health support services in the Roaring Fork Valley. Visitors to the website will find a consolidated directory of mental health care providers located in the valley, a calendar for support groups and local events, as well as access to the online mental health screening tool.
To make this initiative more accessible to the community, Aspen Strong puts on screening events, which promote the anonymous self-assessments. Last year, Aspen Strong led their Changing Brains, Changing Lives symposium as well as their Hike Hope Heal fundraiser to encourage mental health awareness and raise money for treatment programs.
“In the last year, Aspen Skiing Company has made some pretty big statements: defining and promoting their core values by developing the Caring for Community Fund to support organizations which, in turn, support the wellbeing of the valley’s residents and employees,” says Aspen Strong’s Christina King. “As a mental health therapist and founder of Aspen Strong, I feel humbled to live in a community where more businesses are supporting and promoting the importance of mental hygiene.”

Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company
Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company

English in Action

Founded over 20 years ago, English in Action strives to bridge the communication gap between English speakers and non-English speakers in the Roaring Fork Valley. By helping adults learn how to read, write, and speak English, they can break down cross-cultural barriers and establish stronger relationships with others in their community. The $5,000 grant from the Caring for Community Fund supports English in Action’s one-on-one tutoring program that incorporates personalized learning experiences between volunteer tutors and their adult students.
Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company
Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company

Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company
Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company

Mentoring Aspen Snowmass
Mentoring Aspen Snowmass

As a result of these programs, adult students are better able enter the workforce, help their children with schoolwork, and obtain medical services when necessary. By learning English, these adults can more effectively manage their daily lives and become more engaged members of their communities. Oftentimes, as pictured, volunteer tutors and their students bond over a shared language and develop lasting friendships.

“As a native of Aspen, it was enlightening to see the amount of need in a town that is known for having an abundance of good fortune and a healthy lifestyle,” says board member Connie Power. “Every single nonprofit that we support provides vital services to ensure the culture and community of the Roaring Fork Valley can thrive.”

Pathfinders for Cancer

Pathfinders for Cancer provides counseling for people who are struggling with cancer and other serious illnesses. The nonprofit also provides grief and loss counseling as well as volunteer services, such as running errands, for those in need. Although Pathfinders is a statewide organization in Colorado, the Caring for Community Fund donated $3,000 to specifically support these counseling programs in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Pathfinders also provides complimentary care services, such as equine and massage therapy, to people struggling with illness and grief. The overarching goal of the organization is to create a mental, emotional, and physical support system for people who are struggling with illness and grief. By providing the supportive tools that these people need, they are able to cope in a healthier way.

This past summer, Pathfinders partnered with local nonprofit Life Turns to co-operate a week-long summer camp for ill and disabled children. These nine kids are patients at the Denver Children’s Hospital and range from ages 12 to 15 (pictured). Some highlights from the camp include hiking, horseback riding, and rafting.


Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company
Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company

The Valley Settlement Project

The Valley Settlement Project is a nonprofit organization that seeks to better engage and integrate immigrant families into the Roaring Fork Valley community through educational opportunities for children and adults alike. Valley Settlement programs focus on school readiness, elementary school achievement, and community engagement for immigrant families. One such program (pictured) makes preschool education easily accessible to low-income children by using a bus as a mobile classroom that brings the learning experience to the students.
The Caring for Community Fund donated $3,000 to the Valley Settlement’s Alma program, a pilot program that provides bilingual counseling to Latina mothers with mental health issues. In the Roaring Fork Valley, low-income Latina mothers often have needs that are overlooked and underrepresented. Many Latina mothers struggle with mental health concerns, but do not seek treatment because the majority of mental health support services are in English. This language barrier makes it difficult for these women to communicate effectively with a mental health professional. By providing bilingual support services through the Alma program, these Latina mothers can receive proper treatment and feel a deeper sense of connection within the community.
Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company
Caring for Community Fund: Aspen Skiing Company

The Caring for Community Fund donated $3,000 to the Valley Settlement’s Alma program, a pilot program that provides bilingual counseling to Latina mothers with mental health issues. In the Roaring Fork Valley, low-income Latina mothers often have needs that are overlooked and underrepresented. Many Latina mothers struggle with mental health concerns, but do not seek treatment because the majority of mental health support services are in English. This language barrier makes it difficult for these women to communicate effectively with a mental health professional. By providing bilingual support services through the Alma program, these Latina mothers can receive proper treatment and feel a deeper sense of connection within the community.
FALL 2017
Aspen Hope Center – School-Based Mental Health Clinician
$4,000.00
Aspen Strong – Mental Health Screening Initiative
$3,000.00
CASA of the Ninth – Court Appointed Special Advocate Training and Supervision
$4,000.00
English in Action – Individual Tutoring Program$5,000.00
Growing Years Preschool – Tuition Assistance Fund
$5,000.00
Pathfinds for Cancer – Cancer and Grief Counseling in the Roaring Fork Valley$3,000.00
Planner Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains – Glenwood Springs Health Center: Patients in Need Fund
$2,500.00
RESPONSE – Crisis Line Support
$3,000.00
Valley Settlement Project – Alma Program (Maternal Depression Program for Latina
Immigrants in the Roaring Fork Valley)
$3,000.00
YouthZone – Seeking Safety
$3,000.00
TOTAL$35,500.00

Applications for the fall 2018 grant cycle are due in mid-September. Those interested in receiving an application can email Matthew Hamilton.