Colorado Trust: Doing good works through C.R.A.I.G. Group grants |

Colorado Trust: Doing good works through C.R.A.I.G. Group grants

One of my favorite parts of the C.R.A.I.G. Group’s work is being able to give money to organizations in our community. The C.R.A.I.G. Group’s first grant went to Love INC for their PB & J Weekend Food Bag Program. This program provides bags of food for local youth elementary through high school age with food insecurities.

Research has shown that food insecurity is a contributing factor to poor performance in school; it’s hard for someone, especially a young person, to learn when they don’t know where or when their next meal is going to come.

“By promoting access to food, we are helping children increase their physical and mental well-being,” said Pat Jones, executive director of Love INC.

The C.R.A.I.G. Group’s next round of grants went to Freedom Hooves, the Senior Social Center, and Hope Pregnancy Center — formerly the Yampa Valley Pregnancy and Family Center.

Freedom Hooves is an organization that provides equine-assisted activities and therapy to individuals and families that have emotional, mental, and/or physical challenges. Through the C.R.A.I.G. Group’s grant monies, Freedom Hooves has been able to offset costs for participants who would not otherwise be able to afford to continue their participation in the program.

“Freedom Hooves’ mission has been to connect the healing power of the horse with the needs of the community without regard to social, economic, or environmental disadvantages,” said Connie Sue Ellis, executive director of Freedom Hooves.

The Senior Social Center focuses on the connecting seniors by providing activities to foster a sense of community and an opportunity for socialization that can be lost as one gets older. The C.R.A.I.G. Group’s grant went specifically to their volunteer outreach program which serves the frail, homebound, and/or lower income residents age 60 and older in Craig and the surrounding communities.

“As some Moffat County seniors do not often leave their homes due to a multitude of factors, the Senior Social Center is using this proactive approach to encourage community togetherness,” Lois Wymore said of the center.

The pregnancy center strives to help men, women, and families with the challenges that come with raising a family. They requested money to update the “Earn While You Learn” program. This program covers the stages of pregnancy, early infant and toddler care, parenting skills, fatherhood, safety, and healthy partnership relationships in a self-paced format through online streaming. People who come into the center and take these lessons then can earn bucks to use on things like diapers, formula, and toys for their child.

“The entire ‘Earn While You Learn’ program is designed to address some of the systemic causes of inequity that affect families and children, such as lack of self-worth and value, identifying real needs of young children and learning how to meet them so they have a solid foundation upon which to build their lives,” said Vicky Van Couvering, executive director.

All quotes are pulled from the organization’s grant application.

Next month’s article will feature more of our grantees and the C.R.A.I.G. Group’s activities.

Contact Karli Bockelman at for more information about The C.R.A.I.G. Group and our work.

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