2020 has brought so many challenges to so many of us. No one has been unaffected by the changes in our community as a result of the threat of COVID-19, especially the youth and families we serve. At Partners, we have strived to find creative, safe, and flexible ways to offer essential support and resources to those facing additional challenges. The youth and individuals we serve are always our main focus and keeping them connected and supported—while also keeping them safe—has been our top priority.
Now that we are so close to ending this year and shouting “Happy New Year” with unprecedented enthusiasm, we are also looking back how 2020 shaped Partners. Here’s a look at the highlights of this year:
- We served nearly 500 youth in our community-based and school-based mentoring programs
- Whether virtually or in-person, our mentoring partnerships continued meeting and finding ways to establish a deeper connection and bond, often with creative ideas for their time together
- As we were able, we accepted referrals for new youth and established 100 new partnerships this year
- Several mentoring groups are now meeting and working to build relationships, support virtual learning, and reinforce coping skills during this time of isolation
- For those youth who are waiting to be matched with a mentor, we’ve delivered activity kits to provide extra learning and fun
- We have stepped up to help families meet their basic needs, both by coordinating volunteers willing to drop off food and supplies at the start of stay-at-home orders, as well as by referring families to other organizations for support
- Our year-end drive-by event, Rockin‘ and Rollin’ with Gratitude, was a big success! Families and partnerships drove through and received a meal, coupons from several places for fun things to do together as a family, and a gift card for the mentee and mentor to shop for the mentee’s family. Staff and volunteers wore animal onesies and danced to rock music for extra entertainment!
- Our newly absorbed Prevention Education program started moving full-steam ahead, and we now have a full–time Prevention Education Program Manager to coordinate these efforts
- We hosted a variety of parenting support classes and curriculum-based youth classes and presentations aimed at improving socio-emotional skill building and preventing substance misuse for youth
- We established and expanded collaborations with several other groups and nonprofits to provide joint programming for our community
- Nearly 250 individuals—youth and parents–participated in on-going or one-time courses
- As local schools have established learning pods for students who are not able to participate in remote learning, we have stepped in to provide staff support in the school setting supporting youth as they do virtual school and helping them get caught up academically.
- We successfully transitioned the Responsible Association of Retailers (RAR) program to be under the leadership and support of Partners
- The RAR program found ways to adapt and look for more ways to best serve our alcohol and cannabis members, particularly through the ever-changing restaurant and business rules related to COVID-19
- Several new businesses joined the RAR chapter in their area, growing our network; we currently have RAR chapters in Fort Collins, Estes Park, Greeley, and Boulder
- We led the re-establishment of the No DUI Larimer coalition and coordinated the monthly meetings of the coalition members
- We launched the “Make the Call” campaign to remind community members to make the make the call to get a safe ride home, determine whether to drive, or report suspected impaired drivers
- Our brand refresh, meant to reflect our expanded programming and mission with a simplified name and new look, is complete
- Our organization was able to retain all staff positions, and provide extra support and flexibility to staff members as they navigated changing needs and demands
- Volunteers remain an integral component to our organization, and we were able to continue offering opportunities to volunteer with youth, on a committee, or as a Board Member
- We launched an on-going racial equity committee, established inclusion and anti-racist values, and formulated a plan to accelerate our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
- We successfully transitioned all our fundraising events to virtual events, and received incredible support from our sponsors and donors
- Our year-end fundraising campaign, now named The Spark Campaign, is underway, and we are making progress toward our goal. You can help us finish the year strong by donating today:
Thank you for all your support in helping Partners remain a leader in youth mentoring and prevention education in our communities! Bring on 2021!!