Every summer, nearly 2,000 children suffering from illnesses pack for summer camp at Roundup River Ranch near Gypsum, but this year COVID-19 forced the campers to stay home and try their best to experience camp online.
On Tuesday, in honor of Colorado Gives Day, Roundup River Ranch staff will deliver 100 boxes filled with camp activities to children so they can create art, studey science, sing songs and exercise over the holidays, said Jennifer Clark, Roundup River Ranches communications director. It’s one more way to share the camping experience while bringing attention to their work on a day when Coloradans give millions to state charities.
“It’s a huge day for us,” Clark said. “It’s a reminder that we’re here and available for our community so families can send their kids to camp and they don’t have to feel like a patient for awhile.”
The 11th annual Colorado Gives Day promotes philanthropies across Colorado through online giving. Donations are matched through a $1 Million Incentive Fund made possible by Community First Foundation, FirstBank and others, according to the Colorado Gives Day website.
In 2019, Colorado donors gave $39.6 million to 2,569 nonprofits during the one-day fundraiser, Community First Foundation reported. Non-profits range from food banks to environmental causes to education to disaster preparedness. Donations can be arranged in advance or made Tuesday at coloradogives.org. A search engine helps donors find non-profits in their counties or that offer the types of services they want to support.
The annual online fundraiser helps Roundup River Ranch meet its annual $4 million budget. The ranch, near Gypsum, hosts children and their families at free, week-long and weekend camps, Clark said. There, children who live with chronic illnesses or are battling acute diseases such as cancer ride horses, sling along ziplines and sing and dance around campfires.
This year, the ranch offered 2,921 camper experiences through online offerings such as group dance parties and friendship bracelet-making classes, Clark said. While campers missed seeing each other, the ranch was able to reach out to more families since organizers did not have to worry about running out of room in cabins.
“They can log in at night and the kids can make some connections,” Clark said. “They can get some of the social interaction they’ve been missing out on by not coming to camp.”
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