By Nadia Werby
Special to The SUN
What is Colorado Gives Day and how can you continue to help support Chimney Rock Interpretive Association’s (CRIA) and Sonlight Christian Camp’s missions?
Colorado Gives Day is more than just a day. It’s a movement that inspires and unites thousands of donors to give where they live and support Colorado nonprofits.
CRIA and Sonlight Christian Camp have joined forces with 70 other nonprofits in southwest Colorado to highlight our region on the statewide giving day of Dec. 10. These two Archuleta County nonprofits share the common goal of creating educational programs that benefit future generations.
For over 20 years, CRIA and its volunteers have shared the story of the ancestral Puebloan people with thousands of visitors through tours and special programs at Chimney Rock National Monument. Historic places like Chimney Rock reflect the past while enriching our future, but without public support, CRIA would be unable to provide the interpretive program that keeps Chimney Rock’s history alive for future generations.
Chimney Rock offers free programs that were developed for families. In 2017, CRIA introduced “School Week at Chimney Rock” in which students from across the Four Corners and beyond enjoy hands-on cultural activities and a tour of Chimney Rock preseason, at no cost. In 2019, CRIA provided this free program to 14 classroom groups, totaling 475 students.
CRIA’s Education Committee, a group of experienced educators, has developed special projects and an outreach mobile classroom kit.
Life at Chimney Rock is a free two-day festival where families can shop at a Native American marketplace and participate in cultural interactive activities that give them a glimpse of the daily life of the ancestral Puebloans 1,000 years ago. Both of these programs enhance the experience for these young people so that they may value sites such as Chimney Rock and preserve cultural heritage for future generations.
To support the free programs at Chimney Rock, CRIA is participating in Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Please help CRIA reach its goal of $3,000 this year on Colorado’s largest day of giving.
For more information about CRIA and Chimney Rock National Monument, please go to www.ChimneyRockCo.org.
For 40 years, Sonlight Camp has provided summer resident camps, backpack trips and retreat space for southwest Colorado groups. Sonlight Camp offers mountains, programming that intentionally creates community and a place for kids to be who God created them to be.
The camp is supported financially in three ways: Camp and retreat fees provide the operating budget. Donations allow Sonlight to provide scholarships to make camp affordable to all, and to go above and beyond its operating budget to keep programs and program equipment relevant and well maintained. Sonlight also maintains an endowment to ensure that the camp will be available to future generations.
One comment received from a 2019 camper parent: “Your excellent training and your desire to help young people know the love of God is what made my son’s week so special and successful. You all should be so very proud about the work you do at Sonlight.”
Sonlight Camp participates in Colorado Gives Day to support all three of these areas: camp scholarships, program excellence and the future of Sonlight Camp. Join Sonlight and Give Sonlight to Kids Today (scholarships and program excellence) or Give Sonlight to the Next Generation (the endowment).
These are some of the reasons why is it important that the greater community support these local nonprofits with donations. Give where you live and support local Archuleta County nonprofits participating in Colorado Gives Day by going to www.swcogives.org. Gifts can be scheduled now for Dec. 10.
You can find more information about Sonlight Christian Camp by visiting its website at www.SonlightCamp.org.
By Nadia Werby