River Bridge Regional Center wants to ensure child abuse victims always have a safe place to go that provides collaborative services and support.
In order to continue carrying out its mission, the nonprofit has an ongoing fundraiser known as the Bridge to Their Futures Campaign.
The campaign, which began in July 2018, will run for five years and has already collected over $200,000 of its $500,000 goal from 66 individuals, families and businesses.
“The great thing about an organization like ours, and a lot of other nonprofits that are in our valley, is that 100% of the funds raised for this organization stay right here,” said Blythe Chapman, River Bridge Regional Center executive director. “There is a lot of giving to happen right here in our community, and River Bridge Regional Center can guarantee that any amount of money that comes in — a dollar, $100 or $100,000 — goes directly toward those kids that really need it right here.”
Founded in 2007, the nonprofit, which serves Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties, opened its new child advocacy center located at 504 21st St. in December 2018 in Glenwood Springs.
Previously River Bridge Regional Center operated out of a nearby facility, which it still uses today predominantly to conduct forensic interviews.
Although its new child advocacy center looks considerably different than it did at its December ribbon-cutting ceremony, it still needs a lot of work, explained Chapman.
“Our new building is beautiful … but our walls are pretty empty,” Chapman said. “With the old building being opened up a little bit we need additional technology to help us set up a second forensic interview room and that technology is expensive.”
While campaign funds will go toward filling out River Bridge’s new child advocacy center, donations will also help secure the nonprofit’s reserves.
Currently, River Bridge Regional Center receives state and federal funding, however at any point that could change.
“Most significantly, our community needs to know that River Bridge is going to be here forever,” said Chapman. “In order for us to always be here we need to have strong reserves to ensure that should federal or state money disappear one day, which is always very possible, that we have something to fall back on in order to keep our doors open.”
River Bridge Regional Center remains the only childcare advocacy center between Grand Junction and Breckenridge.
One may donate to the Bridge to Their Futures Campaign at coloradogives.org or at riverbridgerc.org.
“We have to have this child advocacy center,” said Chapman. “Our community can’t survive without it at this point.”