The Gazette-El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund has been awarding money to Griffith Centers for Children for nearly 30 years in support of youth services.
Griffith Centers for Children/Chins Up has five locations throughout Colorado, introduced by Emily Griffith, who had the original house built in Denver for delinquent boys in 1927 to coach them through education and self-supporting skills.
The Griffith Centers for Children continue to offer residential care, along with access to foster care and adoption services, the Griffith School, and community programs that provide resources for supervised visitations, mentoring and family preservation therapy.
“The Griffith Center has about 200 counselors available and supports about 1,700 families per week,” said organization engagement manager Courtney Hadl.
The residential care is part of the Chins Up program, which places males ages 12 to 20 in a safe haven with mentoring and supervision. The Chins Up center has been helping children in need since 1974 in Colorado Springs.
Multiple fundraisers held throughout the year, including the Empty Stocking Fund during the holidays, allow children to be sponsored through their time at the Griffith Center.
A golf tournament at the start of each summer supports the Chins Up mission. The 2018 mission advocates for suicide prevention and awareness. The Griffith’s culinary program holds a gala each year where Colorado Springs’ top chefs coach students through preparing meals for judges at the gala.
In 1988, the Griffith Center held its first Peak Challenge, in which children hike one of Colorado’s fourteeners with staff. This year was the 30th annual Peak Challenge, taking climbers up Mount Sherman. The funds collected will go to build a new sensory gym and climbing wall. The gym and the mountain treks help children understand self-evaluating skills.
“We want the kids who have rough days to get out of their minds and into their bodies,” Hadl said. The center needs to raise $50,000 for the gym.
Griffith Centers for Children is proud to announce its newest service program of “tele-behavioral health.” Families who can access the internet connect with counselors online. About 40 families now use this service, getting the help they need regardless of where they live in Colorado.
“This is a new wave of the future (for) the Griffith House,” Hadl said.
The Empty Stocking Fund support is filtered through each service within the Griffith Centers for Children.
“It is a great campaign for nonprofits because it truly makes a difference in having media outreach and a group of El Pomar fellows committed to help raise awareness and funding for nonprofits,” says the Griffith Centers’ website.