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conservation colorado, the conscious group, conscious real estate, denver real estate, socially conscious businesses

Conscious Real Estate donates 10% of all home sales and purchases to a local nonprofit of their clients’ choice. Thank you to Sean and Marissa Laven for choosing Conservation Colorado and Conscious Real Estate.

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“Welcome to Colorful Colorado,” the sign reads.

Colorado is a beautiful state full of natural beauty and color. Conservation Colorado is one local organization striving to keep our state colorful in another sense too – by including our residents of all colors in natural conservation efforts and supporting legislation to ensure environmental protection equally in all areas.

In Denver, some groups of people and entire neighborhoods have been unjustly slighted over decades. In particular, the Globeville area and neighborhoods affected by the initial construction of I-70 which cuts off local transportation in some areas and consistently produces more pollution. People who live in these areas now face increased health concerns and lower standards of air quality, among other health issues. Here is a report on the latest efforts from CDOT.

In Colorado, Latino residents comprise over 20% of everyone who lives in our state. Yet, according to statistics from our state government itself, they suffer more health problems and have lower incomes when compared to the entire population of Colorado. Just check out this fact sheet on the health disparities from the Colorado Office of Health Equity. Yes, there is an entire office devoted to this, but is it actually helping?

Local nonprofit organization Conservation Colorado seeks to positively influence legislation on conservation, clean water, curbing air pollution, and supporting fair development initiatives that do not unjustly isolate or harm one community over another:

“Unfortunately, our amazing state faces grave threats. Powerful interests are constantly pushing to put pollution and profit over public health. We are at the front lines of every fight working to protect the air, land, water, and people across our state.

We have a long and successful history in Colorado of collaborating on key environmental issues, working collectively at the State Capitol, and establishing strategic partnerships to find success on a variety of levels, including:

  • Ensuring that more than three million acres of wilderness will stay forever wild.
    Setting a statewide renewable energy standard, then increasing it to 30% and making it one of the strongest in the nation.
  • Working to minimize impacts from oil and gas drilling by updating public health, drinking water and wildlife protections in 2008 and continuing to push for further reforms.
  • Passing more than 130 different conservation bills at the state legislature in the past six years on a host of environmental issues ranging from water efficiency to air quality to energy efficiency to transit.
  • Electing pro-conservation candidates and holding our elected officials accountable in the State Legislature, Governor’s Office, and local government councils and commissions.” – Conservation Colorado

Conservation Colorado is doing an amazing job, but as a nonprofit, donations are needed to stay afloat and support their programming.

They have several initiatives that we find, well, awesome! In addition to working around the clock to support legislation, they are focused on diversity and are: “committed to building a more diverse and inclusive organization and being a leader in the broader conservation community to ensure diversity, equity and inclusivity are integral parts of our work.” Further, they believe that: “all Coloradans should be fully represented and engaged as we work to build as powerful a conservation movement as we can.”

The youth and adult Promotores and Protégete Programs through Conservation Colorado are specifically for Latino youths and adults to get a say. Side note… while researching for this article, we have to give kudos to the University of Colorado for creating a Certificate in Latino Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. Thank you for also being a leader in recognizing the unique health impact issues facing a huge segment of our population. More info here.

Conscious Real Estate Agent, Andy Robertson, recently donated $700 to Conservation Colorado as part of our Give 10% programming. We donate 10% from every home purchase or sale to a nonprofit of our clients’ choice.

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“Sean and Marissa Laven knew immediately that they wanted to support clean water initiatives in Colorado, and Conservation Colorado seemed the natural partner for their donation.”

“Though the staff was busy planning their Rebel with a Cause gala, they loved the interruption to gather for a photograph so they could show the Laven’s how grateful they are for the support!” said Robertson.

At Conscious Real Estate, we love to support local changemakers.

We are grateful to donate to Conservation Colorado because, “they’ve had the wherewithal to be inclusive with diverse communities across the state – a lot of low income and Spanish-speaking communities and youth who often have not had a seat at the table when it comes to conservation,” says Allison Parks, owner and founder of Conscious Real Estate. Sign the petition to have your voice heard.

You can help too!!

How? Of course, when you buy or sell a home with us, 10% of our own commission is donated to your favorite nonprofit. This means a large lump sum that doesn’t come from your pockets whatsoever, but comes directly from your heart. Referrals for socially conscious friends and family who are looking to move to Colorado or to a new location in the Denver area are greatly appreciated and help local organizations make our hometown even greater and more inclusive. Contact us anytime for more information or to set up a chat with one of our agents. Thank you for reading!

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Let’s Face It, The Numbers Matter!

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Kimberly McAleenan (left) presents the donation to the Environmental Defense Fund with her clients

The Environmental Defense Fund has been making economically sound environmental advanced and recommendations since its inception. Focusing on environmental issues in a financial angle has helped this nonprofit advance science in a way that also appeals to the fiscally-minded politicians who help shape the laws in our country.

And, at Conscious Real Estate, we know it’s about the numbers too when it comes to actionable change. That’s why we ask our clients to pick a nonprofit for us real estate agents to donate 10% of our own commission to. Yes, we get feel-good gold stars from it, but the nonprofits that we donate to get to further their education and outreach programs so that the world is a better place. That’s our goal too! Once donation at a time..

And huge thanks to Andrea and Jonathan for choosing the Environmental Defense Fund ($1600 went in a lump sum from their home sale, boom!). PS, they split between Vet Ranch and Environmental Defense Fund and yes, we love splitting between two favorite orgs!

 

How Does the Environmental Defense Fund Advocate for Change?

As US-based group, the Environmental Defense Fund (or “EDF”) funds projects taking on issues such as global warming, ecosystem restoration, oceans, sustainable fishing, human health, climate issues and more. Current and past projects have included encouraging the clean energy industry, lowering pollution domestically and abroad,

As a nonpartisan organization, the EDF is not swayed by politics, rather they reference sound science and legal precedent in their policy making.

In fact, their wоrk оftеn reflects market-based ѕоlutіоnѕ tо еnvіrоnmеntаl problems such as energy efficient corporate investments to reduce negative impact while also reducing long-term operations overhead. The EDF is solutions-oriented, so they are always trying to balance both business and societal goods in order to least impact while putting the greatest effort toward improving the environment.

The EDF is Guided By Science (Thankfully!)

These times are interesting ones where science and research are being discarded more than ever. Supporting science is a plus in our book. And, the EDF has been called “Amеrіса’ѕ mоѕt economically lіtеrаtе grееn саmраіgnеrѕ” by The Economist. Thе оrgаnіzаtіоn wаѕ rаnkеd fіrѕt аmоng еnvіrоnmеntаl grоuрѕ іn a 2007 Fіnаnсіаl Tіmеѕ global study оf 850 buѕіnеѕѕ-nоnрrоfіt раrtnеrѕhірѕ аnd rесеіvеd a fоur-ѕtаr rаtіng frоm Charity Navigator, the іndереndеnt сhаrіtу еvаluаtоr.

Their mission is: “Guіdеd bу science аnd есоnоmісѕ, wе tackle urgеnt thrеаtѕ wіth practical ѕоlutіоnѕ.” As оnе оf the wоrld’ѕ largest еnvіrоnmеntаl organizations, the EDF has more thаn two mіllіоn mеmbеrѕ. Their global staff includes оf 700 scientists, есоnоmіѕtѕ, роlісу experts, аnd оthеr professionals. To support these worldwide efforts, over half of the EDF’s necessary operating funds from donations.

 

“Wе wоrk to ѕоlvе thе most critical еnvіrоnmеntаl problems facing thе planet. This hаѕ drawn uѕ tо аrеаѕ that ѕраn the bіоѕрhеrе: climate, oceans, есоѕуѕtеmѕ, аnd hеаlth. Since thеѕе tорісѕ are іntеrtwіnеd, оur solutions tаkе a multіdіѕсірlіnаrу approach. Wе work in соnсеrt with оthеr organizations — аѕ wеll as with buѕіnеѕѕ, gоvеrnmеnt, and communities — and аvоіd duрlісаtіng wоrk аlrеаdу being done еffесtіvеlу bу оthеrѕ.” – The Environmental Defense Fund

.

sold, denver housing market, buying a home in Denver, Denver area real estate, conscious real estate, kimberly mcaleenanAre You Into Science Too?

Do you feel the same way that science and the Earth should be supported? Join us in the mission of giving back by buying or selling a house with us. And, you get to pick the cause. To get started, meet one of our many talented and experienced agents.

 

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direct relief, denver nonprofit, denver charities, conscious real estate, allison parks, direct relief, conscious real estate agencies

Life Saving Medical Aid: Without Regard to Politics, Religion or Ability to Pay

When a tragedy strikes that is so great it dominates the daily news around the world, it is impossible to ignore the needs of those affected. Natural disasters and war have so often been the cause of that suffering, forcing families to either leave their homes or rebuild them after the storms recede.

However, when the purchase of a home in Colorado can directly lead to helping rebuild the homes in Houston, Puerto Rico, Southern California, Yemen or any of the other 80 countries in which the humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief operates the decision to help is easy.

That is exactly why Kevin and Allysse Paquette chose to donate nearly $900 dollars to Direct Relief – one of Charity Navigator’s “10 Best Charities Everyone’s Heard OfThey turned to a relief organization that surpassed $1 billion in donations in 2017 and climbed to the 7th largest charitable organization in the United States.

The governance of Direct Relief is what drew the Paquettes to make their donation; specifically, that 100% of earmarked donations go exactly to the emergency response designated by the donor.

And, after spending time in the Caribbean, they wanted to make sure that all of those affected would receive the fullest measure of assistance possible. Dіrесt Rеlіеf (fоrmеrlу knоwn аѕ Dіrесt Rеlіеf Intеrnаtіоnаl) іѕ a nоnрrоfіt, nоnраrtіѕаn оrgаnіzаtіоn wіth a ѕtаtеd mіѕѕіоn tо “іmрrоvе thе hеаlth аnd lives of реорlе affected by роvеrtу or emergency ѕіtuаtіоnѕ bу mоbіlіzіng and providing еѕѕеntіаl medical rеѕоurсеѕ needed for their саrе.”

Direct Relief Always Was a Direct Connection Between People Delivering Needed Aid

It all began in 1945, when Estonian immigrant William Zimdin, who had amassed significant wealth pre-war, began sending relief parcels with food, medicine, clothes, and other necessities for friends, family and past employees who were trying to rebuild their lives after the devastation of war. Direct Relief was officially founded in 1948 and has continued to help populations of people affected by severe natural disasters and the struggles the aftermath causes.

Thе Wіllіаm Zіmdіn Foundation was established on Auguѕt 23, 1948 аѕ a California-based nоn-рrоfіt соrроrаtіоn. Hаvіng witnessed thе impacts оf unсhесkеd power, Zіmdіn dеdісаtеd hіѕ life’s fortune tо thе oppressed, ѕhunnіng thе fаѕсіѕm thаt hаd caused hіѕ hіm tо flee Hіtlеr’ѕ Europe for hіѕ life.

Direct Rеlіеf has always рrоvіdеd assistance in rеѕроnѕе tо catastrophic еmеrgеnсіеѕ and to refugeeѕ. Tоdау, Dіrесt Rеlіеf рrоvіdеѕ requested medical services in over 70 countries including domestically here in the United States.

Direct Rеlіеf hоnоrѕ thе gеnеrоѕіtу of іtѕ dоnоrѕ bу fоllоwіng a firm policy of full trаnѕраrеnсу іn all of its ореrаtіоnѕ. Thе оrgаnіzаtіоn routinely reports оn hоw dоnаtіоnѕ аrе used and make іtѕ fіnаnсіаl dосumеntѕ (e.g., tаx returns, annual rероrtѕ, audits), fundraising рrасtісеѕ, аnd compensation policies ореn tо thе рublіс. This is probably reason for their inclusion in the Charity Navigator’s “10 Best Charities Everyone’s Heard Of” which is a good indicator that your donations won’t be filtered as much as they are in some organizations.

Conscious Real Estate Agent Andy Robertson snapped this pic of the donation check to Direct Relief

Conscious Real Estate Partners With Their Clients to Donate to Good Causes

At every home sale, Conscious Real Estate donates 10% of their own commission to a nonprofit of their clients’ choice. Through this programming, we have been introduced to so many nonprofits that are superbly top quality in their programming and honest with their funding initiatives. Supporting organizations the truly focus on the objectives of the founders and especially where 100% of the donations go to the cause are the types of nonprofits that we specifically look for in our giving. This way, we know that we are spending money on things we believe in and that it’s getting to the people (and animals and trees!) who need it.

Like our style? Contact one of our agents today.

 

In one definition, bullying is when a person uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are perceived as weaker. As adults, this type of behavior would not be tolerated.

In fact, some of the things that kids these days experience can be described as assault, whether verbally, physically or in cyberspace. However, due to the age group of the parties, it’s often written off as “kids being kids.” No matter which solution you attempt, there are hardly any ways to “win” in a case of bullying. The target can tell a parent or teachers, yet they are risking ostracism and potentially increased bullying by “tattling.” They can stand up to the bully, but likely that is a situation that is intimidating beyond a remote possibility. They can ignore it, like many kids do, yet they risk severe mental disturbances, anxiety or depression by withstanding the abuse.

In Lighter News…

So far, the bullying situation looks grim in what we’ve discussed. But then, how can the community come together and offer some solution to the problem? In our minds, it comes from leaders such as the Don’t Be a Monster program, kids who stand up to it, and each and every one of us challenging ourselves to kindness even when it’s hard and we’re on our last fuse. One way to do this? A grateful jar! Each day or week, write down something you’re thankful for and at the end of the year you can literally count your blessings. Back to the bullying issues and how we help…

When leaders show what should be the norm of how we treat each other, it creates a positive influence on everyone.

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The Don’t Be a Monster program features a “different” looking, but shy and kind “monster” who seeks understanding despite his outward appearance. Through role play and a sequenced presentation, the audience gets to learn how to include others and practice kindness. The program is help in September through October to coincide with the Halloween season, which is also National Bullying Prevention Month. Supported by the Haunted House Association and staffed by 13th Floor Entertainment which runs the notorious 13th Floor Haunted House each year, the program is a spooky way to address bullying and at a perfect time, near the start of the school year.

A Local Colorado Student Stands Up to Bullying

In recent news, one Denver student is taking the bullying problem to the next level of awareness (you freakin’ go, girl!). 16-year-old, Sabrina Inman, found her school to be not taking bullying seriously enough. So, the Highlands Ranch teen has been duct taping her mouth closed and holding a sign in silent protest of bullying at her school and in general.

“You would see kids crying in the bathroom and eating alone in the hallway, for half of the year last year, I was one of those people who sat alone,” she said. “I was being called names like rat and w—e and I still get called them [sic] today. I just thought enough is enough and that something needs to change,” said Inman.

Acts like this, while her school won’t release an official statement, bring awareness to the issues at hand and in a personal way. This girl is so strong! We support nonviolent acts like these because other ways, like this dad who forced his son to fight the school bully or these parents who sued the school bully just are not creating the type of karmic energy needed to fight anger with kindness. They are rather pouring heat on the fire and creating antagonistic behavior, as well as setting not the best example to their children. We like Sabrina’s approach! And, our approach at Conscious Real Estate… read more below.

Conscious Real Estate Supports Anti-Bullying

You might guess that we are not for bullying! We want to spread kindness and we know that one of the best ways to do this is to financially support the nonprofits and movements that work on these issues every single day. They are the ones who are reading the latest research, following the news, making positive connections with leaders in the community, and touching students’ hearts on a day to day basis.

In order to run their programming, they need financing. Many in-house nonprofit volunteers and staff spend their time soliciting donations, but there is another way that we can support the cause and that is working with us when you buy or sell a home.

We are a conscious company. To be able to call ourselves this, we donate 10% of every sale to a nonprofit of our clients’ choice.

Recently, broker Kimberly McAleenan was honored to be able to make, not one, but FOUR donations to the Don’t Be a Monster program to support anti-bullying! When you donate this way, you are able to make a much larger donation which allows nonprofits to make a large, necessary purchase and get the extra push they need to run operations. On average, our donations can generate more money than a small event, and are always about 10 times larger than typical one-time donations. Plus… it’s OUR money. Our donations are always from our personal commission made on your behalf.


In this video, Kimberly McAleenan presents her donation to Don’t Be a Monster. Learn more about their programming and exactly how the money will be used for school assemblies.

 

 


And…. Kimberly had the opportunity to donate FOUR times this year with a total of over $4K!!

 

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SOLD!!! Kimberly McAleenan snaps this shot of a happy family moving into their new home, while supporting anti-bullying campaigns!

 

Don’t Be a Monster Program receives donation thanks to Conscious Real Estate Broken Kimberly McAleenan’s (center) help in matching home buyers with homes and causes with donations. Kimberly is making a huge impact in the community by donating FOUR times to Don’t Be a Monster this year alone.

 


If you are looking for a house and want to make a difference too, start browsing and daydreaming with us!

Greetings Nonprofiteers!

We all know that a strong and vibrant community makes real differences in real lives. That’s why your work to build, sustain, and strengthen our common fabric provides lasting inspiration well beyond the walls of your organizations.

As the owner of Conscious Real Estate – the premier Denver residential real estate brokerage that gives back to our community – I sought to develop brokerage that followed this example.

That’s why Conscious Real Estate, as a standard practice, donates 10% of every commission to a nonprofit of our client’s choice.

Through our work, I have met many of you, donated to some, and endeavor to take common cause with all your efforts.

We here at Conscious Real Estate are grateful to have had the opportunity to do this work over the past three years and watch your organizations grow and flourish. At the same time, we are dismayed by the obvious headwinds facing nonprofits in 2017 and beyond. With that in mind, Conscious Real Estate is committed to redoubling our efforts to sustain your vital role in our community.

A bit about how our brokerage works: When a Client purchases or sells a home through a Conscious Real Estate agent, the Client chooses a non-profit to which we donate 10% of the sale commission. While Conscious is exclusively a residential broker, we facilitate a similar arrangement for commercial real estate transactions through a partner broker, Forte Commercial Real Estate. Put another way – the more we grow, the more we give.

Allison Parks (Conscious Real Estate Founder, left) with Tiana Nelson (President and Chief Operating Officer, PawsCo)

So what are the results so far? In 2016, our average donation per transaction was well over $1000. This is real money for real organizations providing support and development to real communities – our community.

While we have received extremely positive feedback about the impact we have made thus far – feedback that we treasure – we still have significant work ahead of us. Our efforts to continue supporting you rely on your generous referral of Conscious Real Estate to your friends, family, and supporters. At the same time, we know that since your hands are always busy and your time is always short, you can’t regularly engage with Conscious to learn about the work we do.

In our heartfelt effort to keep an open line with our non-profit friends, we created this (occasional) newsletter just for non-profits to speak to only your needs. Through this forum, we seek to establish a tighter bond with you so you know the initiatives we pursue to support your work.

With this newsletter, we will include a toolbox for you that will include pre-written social media posts, pre-written newsletter blurbs, and ways that you can mention us to your supporters. We can also provide fliers, business cards, and other collateral to assist in your outreach efforts. Also, since this is a collaborative effort, we look forward to your feedback about the trends in the non-profit world and how your organizations can best be supported.

Finally – if we haven’t met – let’s meet! Please don’t hesitate to contact me through telephone, text, tweet, or smoke signal. I’d love to make your acquaintance. Again, I truly appreciate everything you do for our community and that’s why I created a business to help support you.

After all, you support our community – and that supports us all.

 

Warm regards,

Allison Parks

As part of our core company values, each of our agents donates 10% of their own personal commission to a nonprofit of their client’s choosing. Conscious Real Estate broker Kimberly McAleenan recently had the pleasure of delivering a check to the Denver Dumb Friends League.

As one of the oldest and most widely recognized nonprofits serving animals (and animal lovers), one can expect a top-notch organization focused on reducing animal homelessness, placing adoptable animals in furr-ever homes (see what we did there?), and working with local vets to provide vaccinations and medical services.

So, in this post, we’re sharing some of the unique things you may have not known about this long-standing nonprofit.    

Some things you may not know? Well, cats and dogs are not the only adoptable animals. In fact, the Denver Dumb Friends League has an entire equine department including adoptions, camps, classes, horse rehabilitation facilities and more. Their programs for youths are empowering and teach empathy and responsibility. And, their adoption and rehabilitation programs help horses find “greener pastures” after their youth in the workplace or racetrack.

The DDFL also has an entirely robust small mammal adoption program. Here, individuals and families can browse through pages of pet rats (with and without hair), bunnies of all breeds, mice and guinea pigs. And, while “typical” kitties and pups are also available, the organization even separates “working cats” for cats who are more inclined to the outdoors, specifically as “mousers.”

Another important part of the Denver Dumb Friends League’s mission is to investigate abuse claims.

In very recent Colorado news, the Denver Dumb Friends League has participated in several investigations. In one such Denver case, a dog was shot during a burglary. Polo, the assaulted 12-year-old Labrador Retriever, received injuries costing the family over $13,000.

While the authorities were relieved the family was safe, organizations like the DDFL point out that: “studies show that people who intentionally harm animals may be more likely to commit violent crimes towards people. By taking the time to report what you observe, you’ll not only be helping the animal involved, you’ll be helping prevent future crimes and promoting respect for all life.”

In response to the crime, DDFL has partnered with the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers to offer a $7,000 for information leading to an arrest in the crime.

In another case out of Fremont, Colorado, an investigation by the DDFL, the Colorado Humane Society and local authorities led to the seizure of 63 horses. In reports, the authorities first noticed a lack of food and water. Anna Blake, a board member of the Colorado Horse Rescue said, “We’re very concerned about those horses. It didn’t happen fast, it’s a consistent lack of care over a period of time.”

“One of the phrases that was used in the court was ‘walking dead,’ and this is not thin, this is near death,” Blake said.

And for dearly loved “dumb” friends, they offer end of life support and guardianship.

During your pet’s lifetime, the Denver Dumb Friends League offers behavioral assistance and training referrals (in addition to basic medical services like neuter/spay). And when it gets closer to rainbow bridge time, they offer end of life services such as euthanasia, cremation and interment at the Sheilagh R. Malo Pet Memorial Garde. No one likes to think about this part, but it’s important to know that when you have a friend at Denver Dumb Friends League when the time comes. And, their end of life services are affordable, at $70.

For the unfortunate times that an owner precedes their pet in passing, the DDFL also offers guardianship where they become the legal guardian of the animal. Pets in this program are placed not in a shelter, but in a loving foster family home while the DDFL works diligently for a forever home.

The Denver Dumb Friends League makes life better.

Everyone knows life is better with a dog/cat/bird/lizard/bunny… right??? Well, we sure think so at least, and so do our clients. We love donating to this fantastic organization because they do amazing things like end pet homelessness and human loneliness. We also get excited when we hear stories like the recent acquisition of 79 dogs from Texas into the Denver Dumb Friends League program. Ready for a paw-fect pal? Check out adoptions or attend an event.

Wanting to make a difference and donate a large sum (without doing a thing)? Then, send us a referral for a friend or colleague who might be looking for a home in the Denver area, or contact us here if that person is you! We look forward to hearing from you and even more to the day we get to present the check to your favorite charity. (!!!!)

Conscious Real Estate Broker Kimberly McAleenan (left) presents donation to Denver Dumb Friends League

 

A champion for the people, the American Civil Liberties Union was born in the years following World War I. During those tumultuous times, many people feared the “spread of Communism” thereby rounding up “radicals” for deportation. To make matters worse, those arrested were treated inhumanely. The situation called for an advocate and the ACLU stepped up to the plate to defend their civil rights.

The ACLU also partnered with Clarence Darrow during the “evolution education” Scopes Trial of 1925, promoting the importance of academic freedom. The ACLU also backed Japanese Americans interred in “war relocation camps.” Later, the organization would challenge segregation in its many forms.

“The ACLU of Colorado is the state’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. We’re a private institution funded exclusively by the generous donations of our supporters. Our mission is to protect, defend and extend the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Colorado through litigation, education and advocacy.” – ACLU of Colorado

Fast forward to today and people are still being deported on shaky grounds, racism still exists, women and men are still on unequal grounds and civil rights are still being violated. Yet, the ACLU is working harder than ever to promote freedom and educate the public on their rights. While they are only able to take a few select cases a year and rely on volunteers to continue their cause, they have a lot of crucial guides on their website such as:

  • Protest/Demonstrations Rights
  • Encountering a Police Officer (with video tutorial)
  • Photographer’s Rights
  • LGBT Discrimination at Businesses
  • Students’ Rights at Public Schools
  • Rights of Nursing Mothers at Work
  • Disability Rights

The ACLU wants you to be informed, which is the best way to avoid your civil liberties being infringed upon. (They even have printable wallet cards on their site.) And, if something has happened to violate your rights, contact the ACLU to state your case and find out the next steps.

In our state of Colorado, immigration and criminal justice reform are top concerns. On immigration, many Colorado residents worry about the new administration and how the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will handle their cases now. In fact, ICE reports that immigration-related arrests are up by 40% in 2017.

And, in April of this year, 26 people in Colorado and Wyoming were arrested on immigration charges. Some of the recent arrests are clouded in suspicion over how the arrested were treated. In one claim, a Gunnison man says he was detained for multiple days without being told why.

“You don’t look like you were born in Montrose,” one of the agents told him, according to one of the suits. The man is a U.S. citizen and was born in the States.

He also says he was searched without a warrant. It took several days, several facilities, and the showing of his birth certificate from an immigration rights advocate to get him released – without letting him call his family, and with a dead cell phone and only $5 dollars in his pocket. These are the types of issues that the ACLU picks up on and hopes to eliminate when it comes to erroneous immigration enforcement.

On criminal justice, there are a lot of ways that Colorado can improve through the assistance of the ACLU. In one recent example, the Department of Youth Corrections was charged with using straitjackets, solitary confinement and physical force to subdue the inmates.  

“Youths locked up in Colorado’s juvenile corrections system are isolated for hours in tiny, barren rooms, wrapped in full-body straight jackets, and subdued with “knee strikes” and other pain-compliance techniques that have ended with rug burns, according to a detailed investigation released Thursday.” – Daily Record Colorado

And, in another case, an adult male prisoner was forced into solitary confinement for over 15 years. Sam Mendez, shown below in this video courtesy of the ACLU, now suffers from mental illness. You can watch his story below.

The ACLU is an important nonprofit that we value dearly. Their commitment to some of the most important facets of our society is admirable. They are here for humankind by supporting:

  • Criminal Justice Rights
  • Freedom of Expression and Religion
  • Government Transparency
  • Immigrants’ Rights
  • LGBT Equality
  • Privacy & Technology
  • Racial Justice
  • Reproductive Freedom
  • Student & Youth Rights
  • Voting Rights
  • Women’s Rights

At Conscious Real Estate, we donate 10% of every home sale to a nonprofit of our clients’ choice. This pic is of agent Kimberly McAleenan and founder Allison Parks presenting their check for donation to the ACLU of Colorado to Jill Higham, Philanthropy Director and Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Executive Director.

socially conscious real estate, the conscious group, allison parks, real estate denver

Kimberly McAleenan (center, left) and founder Allison Parks (center, right) presenting their check for donation to the ACLU of Colorado to Jill Higham (left), Philanthropy Director and Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Executive Director (far right).

For more information on the ACLU of Colorado, click here.

And, to connect with one of our socially conscious realtors, click here.

 

 

Steve’s Club is a nonprofit that started off completely grassroots in one of the most dangerous public housing units in urban Camden, New Jersey. The city is in better shape than it was when this news report: 36 Hours in Camden was filmed, but it is still considered one of the most challenging places to live and especially to grow up.

Crime is high, single parent households are common, buildings are crumbling and abandoned, there are hardly any restaurants or supermarkets and many of the residents have lost a family member or friend to violence.

 


Steve’s Club Founder Steve Liberati started the organization in May 2017, donating CrossFit inspired fitness programming to low-income youths in the Centennial Village Apartments public housing complex. Since, then Steve’s Club has grown nationwide, making an impact for at-risk kids everywhere there’s a club in America.

“Our mission at Steve’s Club and its participating members, is to provide a national network of programs through which at-risk or underserved youth of any socioeconomic background can join in the CrossFit Community at a reduced, low or no cost structure.”


 

We Everywhere”

Imagining Steve’s Club founders saying that to themselves now that the nonprofit has spread from the East to West coasts and everywhere in between. Local communities can start their own Steve’s Club and the CrossFit connection has been extremely supportive.

When kids experience quality leadership, it impacts their lives. Seeing a strong, consistent and health adult regularly in their lives, which, living in Camden, couldn’t have been all too common, must have been an incredible blessing to the community. In our local community, Steve-Club Denver works with at-risk youths here in our community. Using CrossFit and team building, the program gives kids strength both inside and outside.

 

Steve’s Club Denver

Once Steve’s Club took off (pretty much instantly), the need for something nationwide became very clear. Here in Denver, even Five Points and Colfax Street are gritty neighborhoods that can never compare to Camden, NJ, however, the need is here for at-risk kids to have an outlet to get through to adulthood. Steve’s Club is one option for them, and one that we’re extremely proud to have recently donated to.  

The mentors and coaches “foster resilience to stress and aim to improve the lives of all involved.” We love how they explain their mission:

 

“We care just as much about outcomes related to mood stability, decision-making, and social functioning, as we do about more easily measurable variables such as benchmark times, lifted pounds, or total rounds. Our group is passionate about fitness and every factor that is needed to sustain a life with regular exercise. In case there were any concern, we are also fully capable of having a boatload of fun along the way.” – Steve’s Club Denver

 

At-Risk Youth & Health

It’s obvious that without access to healthy food or a place to do healthy recreational activities…any human, teen, or child would feel antsy, perhaps choosing activities that are an outlet of a type, but without the results of a program like Steve’s Club/CrossFit. Simply wearing yourself out helps you sleep, regulates your blood flow, gets oxygen to your brain and allows for incredible stress relief.  Steve’s Club also started as a way to bring healthier food to urban teens in poverty. Whether you’re into Paleo or not, Steve is and we can definitely agree it’s a lot healthier than Hot Cheetos and Takis. He also started Paleo Kits that have also helped improve inner city nutrition. 

 

About Conscious Real Estate

There are lots of real estate brokers in Colorado, we know. But how many donate 10% to charity with every single sale? Not many we’ve found! Our agent, Kimberly McAleenan had the pleasure of delivering the Steve’s Club Denver donation and we are stoked she introduced us to this awesome organization that’s all about strength and empowerment. Giving to good causes is what we’re ’bout.

So, do you have a favorite nonprofit?

Thinking about upgrading, downgrading, moving closer to the mountains, getting more land, or moving into the city? Consider working with Conscious Real Estate and think about that gold star you’ll get when they get their check and another cause gets to continue – because of you!!! (And you’re celebrating in your new home.) Sound blissful? It is! Contact us to set up an interview today.

Why Is It Called MaxFund?

In 1988, Dr. Suro owned a large veterinary practice in the Denver area and worked alongside his wife, program manager. Nanci Suro. The practice was thriving and the couple had just expanded to be a 24-hour practice. Immediately, the Suros discovered they had a “problem” on their hands. What should they do with the animals that good samaritans were bringing in? Most clinics and shelters were euthanizing the animals without owners immediately, unable and unwilling to foot the animals’ medical costs.

When “Max” came in one day after being hit by a car, the Suros began a fund from a fishbowl, called on service donations from local vets, held a yard sale and eventually came up with the money. To their delight and surprise, they had collected even more fund than they needed for Max’s successful treatment and so they continued the process for the next animal and so on and so on.

Max!

What Happened to Max?

Max healed and the Suro’s lived with him for 13 more years! Max inspired the Suros to continue and so they did. After some time, they were able to gain press coverage and even had an offer from a large corporation to buy their teeny nonprofit. Well, once the corporation realized how expensive some of the medical procedures were, they backed out. The organization was fully run by volunteers until 1995. Now, the organization relies on the generous support of the public which has come from the legacy of estates, generous living contributions, service donations by local vets, and donations from socially conscious business (yup like us here at Conscious Real Estate!!).

 

Why Do We Love MaxFund?

Well one reason is this sweet little bitty of a pup. Her only problem? Well, she has two in these pictures. Two broken legs. Poor thing. Thanks to MaxFund she was able to get the medical attention that she needed and…well…a donation wasn’t enough for us in this case. Conscious Real Estate owner and founder Allison Parks ended up adopting her to add to her pack. She’s had a lot of happy days since then!

Who rescued who? She’s perfect!


Another amazing fact about MaxFund? Founder Dr. Suro got his own new lease on life when he was donated a kidney from Hillary Rettig who said she chose to donate to Dr. Suro because of all the lives of animals he’s saved!!! – MaxFund


What Does MaxFund Do?

MaxFund offers low-cost medical services for injured and ill animals as well as preventative services like spay, neuter and vaccinations. They also offer adoption services for dogs and cats, including those with special needs. Every animal deserves a home, they say.

 

“We believe in second chances. And, we’ll continue to follow our mission in saving injured animals without owners. No matter how large we become we get, in a real sense we will always be “the small shelter that makes a big difference.” We are growing and have been fortunate to receive many wonderful donations and estates, which we have turned into capital improvements.” – MaxFund

 

MaxFund Needs You + Ways to Give

As usual, there are many ways to give to this nonprofit. You can connect them with sympathetic vets, donate individually, shop through Amazon Smile, volunteer, adopt a pet, or, our favorite – work with us at Conscious Real Estate. We donate 10 percent to a nonprofit of your choice after every sale. Yep, you choose who we donate to! It’s a wonderful way to celebrate your new home and give back to a cause you care about. So far we’ve donated tens of thousands to local and national nonprofits. All you have to do is work with us when you buy your next home. We have a track record of happy clients and are available when you need us. Ready to start?

Despite its urban locale, Westwood, a southwest Denver neighborhood has long been economically neglected.

A thriving community with over 80 percent of its residents identifying as Latino, Westwood is known for its Mexican fare, Asian market, pho options, parks, bike paths and incredible public art murals.

Josiah Lopez, Artist

Yet 30 percent of Westwood families live in poverty and before Re:Vision began its programming, even more families were affected by the compounding factor of Westwood’s status as a “food desert.”

“In the U.S., over 23.5 million people live in food deserts, areas where food is neither affordable nor accessible.” – Re:Vision

When access is limited to quality and healthy food choices due to distance or cost, it causes problems unseen to the casual observer. For example, according to Re:Vision’s latest statistics, 67 percent of Westwood residents are risking obesity and diet-related illnesses. Correspondingly, the health impact affects lifespan. A Westwood resident’s lifespan, on average, is “12 years shorter than surrounding Denver neighborhoods.”

Example of a food desert with limited access to health or fresh foods.

Seeing a problem only getting worse, Re:Vision founders have created a system of community leaders, education programs, backyard gardens and a partnership with the Westwood Food Co-op. The results show that a small group of people can make change when they do it together. At Conscious Real Estate, we’re proud to have contributed to the cause of gaining access to healthy food in one of our favorite neighborhoods in Denver.

Thanks to the generosity of our clients who choose which charity to donate to after every sale, we have been introduced to Re:Vision and encourage you to make a donation if your passion is positive local community growth and wellness.

 

Allison Parks, left, Owner & Founder of Conscious Real Estate with generous Re:Vision client donor

 

Re:Vision is a nonprofit that operates several programs that benefit the Westwood neighborhood:

Re:Farm Program

This program encourages and supports local community men and women training to be a Re:Vision Promotora, or resident leader.

The Promotoras then assist Westwood families in growing their own food in household yards. The bounty? In 2016, Re:Farm’s backyard gardens grew over 55,000 pounds of organic produce. (Yes!) Another shocking fact: Over 90 percent of the backyard garden program participants earn less than $15,000 a year. The amount of food grown at home for these families can keep them out of complete abject poverty and help reduce child hunger. Here’s a map of the over 400 households Re:Vision has helped create backyard gardens for.

Also within the Re:Farm program, Re:Vision has created a three day a week pop-up market, El Mercadito, which allows the purchase of fresh, organic produce. Bonus: They accept SNAP.

The Westwood Food Co-Op completes the Re:Farm program. The local grocery store is community-owned and seeks to help with Westwood’s status as a food desert.

For more info:

www.revision.coop/programs

 

Re:Unite

Re:Vision helps communities thrive by creating spaces and resources for residents to make change and improve their neighborhood.

Community leaders are trained as Promotoras, a concept common in Latino communities where a community leader offers themselves to the public as a liaison for problems and solutions. Promotoras teach nutrition classes, help families cultivate gardens and keep track of the overall wellness of their community.

Part of the success of the Promotora program has been the creation and utilization of La Cocina, a kitchen space with commercial equipment to accommodate cooking classes and family events up to 12 people.  

 

Re: Own

We know well here at Conscious Real Estate how challenging the real estate marketing is right now in Denver. As part of the Re:Own program, Promotoras advocate and assist families faced with displacement due to the current housing market pressures. The Westwood Food Co-op also helps to provide ownership in business and aid in neighborhood employment.

Overall, Re:Vision is making huge strides in increasing the quality of life for people living in Westwood. We love supporting local causes that are making clear strides towards a better whole.

 

About the Author | Conscious Real Estate 

Are you a giver? Consider recommending us to a friend or co-worker who might be thinking about buying a home in Denver. Not only do we help you with the sometimes stressful process, but your favorite cause will get a donation to continue their programming as well as a lot of great karma love. Click here to send us a referral or a heads up to an amazing nonprofit we should know about.

 

  • The Team at Conscious Real Estate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more info on Re:Vision and to make a donation:

www.revision.coop