We’re Back! LatinasGive! & L.I.F.T. Colorado’s First Latina & Latino Giving Circles reunite After Covid, Grants Now Available…

Dozens of Latino men and Latina women came together in North Denver’s Elks Lodge August 25, 2022 to let everyone know that and its male counterpart L.I.F.T. (Latinos Impacting Our Future Together) Colorado’s First All Male Latino Giving Circle are back and ready to to get to work supporting community non-profits through grants and a number of other support services. Grant applications are being accepted through the month of September 2022.

LatinasGive! members

After a more than two year hiatus for both organizations, due to the Covid pandemic, members and prospective members gathered to share their commitment to supporting those organizations that positively affect Denver’s Latino communities.

Marlene de la Rosa, ( left) founding member of LatinasGive! with a fellow member. Marlene is not only a key inspiration for both organizations but a fantastic chef baking up some delicious deserts for the event. Photo by Latin Life Denver Media

Both giving circles are a cultural and historical way of like­-minded people coming together and collectively giving their time, talent, and money to positively impact their community.

In partnership with The Denver Foundation’s EPIC (Elevating Philanthropy In Communities of Color) initiative, local business leaders, civic leaders and entrepreneurs in Metro Denver joined together to create opportunities for giving back to the community. (L.I.F.T.) Latinos Impacting Our Future Together is a men’s giving circle to support and empower Colorado communities by elevating identity, awareness, and culture through philanthropy.

While LatinasGive! has been around since 2014 and at the time was Denver’s 1st Latina giving circle, L.I.F.T. had just launched it’s effort in 2019 (see that article HERE) as a Latino counterpart to LatinasGive! when the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to all their inspiring efforts and quickly growing membership.

At its launch in 2019 at the Iron Works Restaurant several member spoke of the challenges and opportunities facing Latino men and the hope this new organization brings to them. “Young Latino men often face the choice as a teenager of being bullied or joining a gang often the choice is to not be bullied,” said Hector Heredia a founding member of the organization.

Attorney Michael Sawaya L.I.F.T. founding member
Attorney Michael Sawaya L.I.F.T. founding member.Photo by Latin Life Denver Media

Attorney Michael Sawaya, also a founding member told the crowd that he was not concerned about them, “Most everyone here has made it or on a path to success. I am concerned about those kids who are living in fear right now because they are undocumented. We have to be the shining light for these people,” he said. (See Video)

Latino men and Latina women came together in North Denver’s Elks Lodge August 25, 2022 to network for their respective organizations. L.I.F.T. and LatinsGive!

L.I.F.T. and LatinasGive! join the ranks with other pre-existing identity based giving circles at the Foundation like DAAP (Denver African American Philanthropists), and March On!

Members of LatinasGive! and L.I.F.T. (Latinos Impacting Our Future Together) speak at a recent networking event in North Denver. Video by Latin Life Denver Media

LatinasGive! has provided more than $150,000 to various community non-profits and L.I.F.T has awarded over $46,000.

Established by 32 founding members, L.I.F.T. provides a way for local Latinos to get involved in collective action, and to have a positive impact on Denver’s Latino communities. Through individual annual contributions, L.I.F.T. members pool resources that are then used to give grants to local nonprofit organizations. L.I.F.T. members are directly involved in the grant-making process, which reflects their shared interests.

L.I.F.T. members at the launch event 2019. Photo by Latin Life Denver Media

LatinaGive! and L.I.F.T. is open to all Latinos and Latinas aged 18 and up, from established community members to the next generation of young professionals. “I definitely see a need for it in our Hispanic/Latino community.

Attorney Michael Sawaya (left)and Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen L.I.F.T. members.
Attorney Michael Sawaya (left)and Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen original L.I.F.T. members. Photo by Latin Life Denver Media

To join LatinsGive! or L.I.F.T it costs only $1 per day or $365 per year. Members meet monthly and per their Facebook pages they are:

Strengthening our stories through intentional community investment.★ We invest and give our money.★ We spend our time with causes that inspire us.★ We build our leadership and impact through relationship with each other.★ We share our networks to advance our community. Giving Values★ We invest our time, talent, and money to support individuals, events, activities, programs, and organizations that:★ Value and promote cultural equity★ Value and promote the talents of our past, present, and, future community leaders★ Develop nuanced and innovative approaches to meeting the needs of our community members★ Champion non­traditional philanthropy. We are committed to building a proud legacy through proactive giving to issues that advance our community in the following areas:★ Cultural values/pride★ Inclusiveness and equity★ Promotion of our strengths★ Multigenerational issues★ Support existing leaders★ Culturally based leadership★ Responsive to community needs Personal and Financial Commitment LatinasGive! members give of their time, talent, treasure and testimony year-­round with a minimum commitment of $1 a day ($365 annually).

“I see this as very important to building authentic community, and to be examples to these young men to show them they too can give back,” said L.I.F.T. co-chair Danny Martinez.

To become a member of LatinasGive or to apply for a grant contact latinasgivedenver@gmail.com

To join L.I.F.T. contact: Brooks.Rosenquist@gmail.com