September 28, 2015

Colorado announces second annual video storytelling winners

“Our Community Stories” offers nonprofit partners chance to showcase work and receive additional grant communication funding.

DENVER — Fredericka Banks sits quietly at The Gathering Place drawing imaginative images with colored pencils on small, white note cards. She’s paid $1.50 for each colorful picture. Banks, an artist, also happens to be blind.

“When I really started coming [to The Gathering Place] in earnest, I was kind of in a flux. I was really going through some traumatic things and I needed to be in a place that felt really safe,” said Banks. “When I came here I liked the fact that it was a place for women and I was able to blossom and grow and work through my traumatic experience. It was a way for me to sit with my pencils and cards and draw and color. That soothed my soul in a lot of ways.”

Banks’ story is just one example of the powerful work being fostered by The Gathering Place, a nonprofit drop-in center for women, children, and transgender individuals who are experiencing poverty or homelessness. But the center — like any number of the small, nonprofit organizations in Colorado — needs help telling its important stories.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado recognized this common need and launched a unique storytelling grant project aimed at providing eligible nonprofit partners with the tools and resources required to tell their authentic stories though video.

“So many nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado are doing tremendously impactful work. But sometimes their efforts go unnoticed,” said Maureen McDonald, senior director of community benefit and relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “This video storytelling challenge is a perfect way for us to work hand-in-hand with Colorado nonprofits to shine a light on their great work and help share their stories online and through social media.”

Now in its second year, Kaiser Permanente’s storytelling challenge, called “Our Community Stories”, engaged nine community partners along the Front Range in creating a video that showcases how their work is creating a healthier Colorado.

Each community partner set out with a camera, a tripod and a microphone to document their stories. Their journeys included planning video shoots, conducting interviews and providing feedback on the editing process. Kaiser Permanente provided the video production tools, technical support, editing services and guidance through the filming process.

Each community partner received a $1,000 communication grant for their participation. After completion of the storytelling challenge, three organizations were selected and awarded an additional $3,000 each in communication grant funding.

“For the people we serve, we hear and see their struggles and triumphs every day. These are strong people who are trying to rebuild their lives,” said Leslie Foster, president of The Gathering Place. “We’re so excited about this grant from Kaiser Permanente because it’ll help us amplify their voices so their journeys as individuals may be experienced compassionately by the community as a whole.”

Kaiser Permanente works directly with more than 200 community partners in a variety of ways, including grant making, sponsorships, volunteer work and community health initiatives, to help all Coloradans thrive. In 2014 alone, Kaiser Permanente directed more than $109 million to services, partnerships and programs directly benefiting Colorado communities.

Here are the three organizations that make up this year’s awardees of an additional $3,000 “Our Community Stories” communication grants:

The Gathering Place

The Trust for Public Land

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Here are other organizations that were awarded $1,000 “Our Community Stories” communication grants:

About Kaiser Permanente Colorado

Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 45 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to 640,000 members through 28 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. For the eighth straight year, our health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Colorado Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognized Kaiser Permanente as the top-rated commercial and Medicare health plans in Colorado for 2015-16. In 2014, we proudly directed $109 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans.