New, kid-friendly website offers Durango’s youth a fun, safe way to experience the joy of giving
The Trails 2000 TrailKids program touches the lives of area youth each season through outdoor, hands-on lessons and trailwork aimed at inspiring curiosity, stewardship, and an appreciation for natural lands. Starting this month, Trails 2000 hopes to further connect with the next generation of givers through Kids for ColoradoGives, a new, fun and safe way for young donors to experience the joy of giving online.
Launched this year, Kids for ColoradoGives allows kids and their parents the opportunity to give to a nonprofit and help the community, while learning about philanthropy and having fun along the way. The site is a kid-friendly component of the popular website ColoradoGives.org, a year-round giving site presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank that powers Colorado Gives Day and aims to celebrate and increase philanthropy through online giving. Trails 2000, who also participates in Colorado Gives, was excited about the opportunity to expand their fundraising efforts surrounding this annual, online-giving movement.
“Trails 2000 is always looking for ways to engage the next generation of lands stewards, and Kids for ColoradoGives aligns perfectly with our TrailKids program,” said Mary Monroe Brown, executive director of Trails 2000. “Gifts to our TrailKids program through Kids for ColoradoGives provide area youth a way to connect to our natural lands and feel like they’ve made a difference in our trails, open space, and Durango’s vast outdoor playground. We hope kids and their parents will join in the fun of giving this holiday season.”
To give to Trails 2000’s TrailKids program, children and their parents can visit Trails 2000’s Kids for ColoradoGives profile. The site is safe and easy to use, allowing donations to be made by Giving eCard only for the privacy and protection of children. Adults can purchase a Giving eCard for a child by visiting KidsforColoradoGives.org and click on “Giving eCards” on the site’s top navigation bar. After purchasing, kids and their parents can enjoy the giving experience together.
The website has fun incentives for kids as well, including a fun quiz for children to take to guide them in their charitable giving, and afterwards print out a hand-drawn, downloadable illustration to color and display. After donating, kids can download a digital badge that says, “I’m a Kid for ColoradoGives!”, along with parent badges that say, “My Kid’s a Kid for ColoradoGives!”
All donations made to Kids for ColoradoGives will support Trails 2000’s TrailKids program, which focuses on Durango-area middle school students and offers a variety of one hour, half-day, and full day programs for 6th-8th grade science classes. In partnership with Durango School District 9-R, the program tailors each course to Colorado Academic standards.
Thanks to sponsor Alpine Bank, in 2016 the TrailKids program reached over 1,000 local youth of all ages, including both school groups as well as the DEVO development program. Youth learned the importance of land stewardship by developing a sense of community ownership and studying topics such as the environment, geology, vegetation, and sustainability in an educational setting. Other TrailKids programs focused on additional trail stewardship topics, from the creation of trail signs to the geology of the surrounding area, or less tangible items such as an appreciation for the outdoors, share the trails ethics, and an understanding of what trails mean to the community. Students also engaged in experimental science labs related to school curriculum and conducted trailwork in various local trail systems.
According to Elizabeth “Ziggy” Lanman, former lead TrailKids educator, “It is such a thrill to share a passion for the outdoors with kids. There is nothing that I would love more than instilling a sense of love and appreciation to younger generations, and that’s something that outdoor, hands-on education can provide. Watching a kid discover how much fun it is to get dirty and really connect with the earth is so fulfilling—I think that this experience is necessary to get kids to fundamentally care about our planet. And trails are a necessary resource for that experience.”
To join the giving movement along with young generations, parents and adult supporters can access Trails 2000’s Colorado Gives profile. Donations can be made online in advance of Colorado Gives Day (Tuesday, December 5), and scheduled donations will be processed on December 5.