For longtime Boulder resident Garda Meyer, the Community Foundation has always been on her radar.
“I’ve followed the work of the foundation since its beginning,” she says. “I worked for the late Joanne Arnold at CU Boulder.” Joanne was a trustee of the Community Foundation and instrumental in building the foundation’s Open Door Fund.
“I’ve lived in Boulder for 46 years,” continues Garda, who retired in September 2001, just before 9/11. “After retirement, I had more time and money, and I was able to make steadily larger contributions. Eventually, I also volunteered with the foundation.
“During the floods in 2013, I became even more aware of what the foundation does, and its many forms of assistance and dimensions of support. I was really impressed that the foundation was able to drop almost everything they were doing to focus on the people and personal devastation at the time.”
Garda was also inspired by the foundation’s role in guiding the efforts of community members who wanted to volunteer their time and energy. “People were eager to help and be involved, but in many cases they didn’t have the background or experience to respond in disaster situations,” she says. “The foundation steered people in various directions where they could be most useful to flood victims and hard-hit communities.”
Over the years, Garda enjoyed learning about the many nonprofits and community services the foundation supports with its grantmaking. “Through the foundation, I learned about Via Mobility Services. I recall a meeting at Via headquarters in East Boulder, and I was impressed by how well-organized they are, how many vehicles they have, and the special features they offer.
“I had never stopped to think about the transportation needs of older people who, for example, come to the Colorado Music Festival by bus. The Community Foundation funds that, and so many other programs and initiatives that help underserved people in Boulder County – including a growing Latino population.”
Garda was also surprised to learn that – in Boulder County – we rank 44th in giving among 64 Colorado counties. “People who want to give don’t necessarily think of the foundation, first. They might take up causes in distant places without being aware of the many needs right here in Boulder County.
“When it comes to giving, I would encourage people to look around their own communities, first. There’s so much here that many of us assume will always be here – but you have to treasure it and sustain it.
“The environment is particularly near and dear to me, but it’s overused in many ways. We have to respect the ground we walk on, literally and practically, and that means supporting the causes you care about here at home. For me, the easiest and most effective way to do that is to create a giving legacy with the Community Foundation.”