Foundation Invests in Community Wellbeing Across the Western Slope

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Rocky Mountain Health Foundation (RMHF) has awarded grants totaling nearly $600,000 to organizations on the Western Slope. 

For their 2023 Simple Gifts Fund cycle, the Foundation considered requests up to $10,000 by organizations offering programs and services that improve conditions for underserved, vulnerable or marginalized people in their 22-county reach. This fund specifically supports Western Slope-based organizations that may not be directly aligned with the Foundation’s core interest areas (providing basic needs, increasing access to and affordability of direct physical & behavioral health care) but are providing worthwhile services that increase the wellbeing of people in their communities. 

The Rocky Mountain Health Foundation board of directors approved general operating support to 93 organizations from 20 Western Slope counties totaling $597,000. Grants were awarded in the following categories: 

Adaptive recreation for people living with developmental, cognitive, or physical disabilities or trauma: $35,000 / 6 grants 

Advocacy, Leadership & Language Justice (civic engagement, outreach & interpretation/translation services for communities of color): $36,000 / 4 grants 

Community coalitions (local organizations collaborating on a focus issue/population): $35,000 / 4 grants 

Community gardens (garden space for community use that may also include nutrition education, or supply fresh food to local food pantries): $11,000 / 4 grants 

Early childhood development (training & support by child specialists to enhance the ability of childcare center staff (and/or parents) in helping children achieve full cognitive, emotional, social and physical potential): $25,000 / 5 grants 

Focus Area (small or off-cycle requests for organizations providing basic needs, increasing access to and affordability of direct physical & behavioral health care): $226,000 / 30 grants 

Legal aid (assistance to low-income individuals/families for legal issues such as child-custody, restraining orders, landlord disputes, immigration): $10,000 / 2 grants 

Peer support groups (behavioral health support in a peer-group setting): $20,000 / 3 grants 

Positive youth development (afterschool/summer programs that offer kids leadership opportunities, relationship & decision-making skills): $160,000 / 26 grants 

Respite care (day or short-term care for elderly/medically fragile/disabled individuals): $10,000 / 2 grants 

Social/emotional supports (creating social connections and alleviating isolation, especially for seniors and special populations): $29,000 / 7 grants 

Grant recipient Reilly Spence, Development Director for Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Continental Divide (CASACD) writes, “Child neglect and abuse is a real and ongoing problem in our community, and RMHF has enabled our Court Appointed Special Advocates to continue expanding, improving, and providing a voice for these children as they navigate a life-altering time. This means children assigned to our Dependency and Neglect Program will receive a dedicated, responsible, stable, and caring advocate who champions for better, healthier and safer outcomes for them. CASACD is excited to be able to deliver brighter futures for children in 2023, and it would not be possible without your generosity.” 

Rocky Mountain Health Foundation was established in 2017 to improve the health of Coloradans living on the Western Slope by investing in community assets and by acting as a catalyst for new approaches. To learn more about Rocky Mountain Health Foundation and to see a detailed list of funded projects, visit 

Contact: Michaelle Smith, 970.644.8188, 


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