Be Kind FoCo began as a project of Leadership Fort Collins seeking to introduce families to the philanthropic programs taking place in our community. Our team saw a need for simple but impactful ways of getting engaged in the nonprofit sector and giving back to the Fort Collins community that were easy to understand and explain to kids, and didn’t require an enormous financial or time commitment. From youth philanthropy research, we knew that the younger we begin to teach children that giving back is a core value of our families and communities, the more likely they are to grow up to become philanthropists, volunteers, and contributors themselves. And that makes a stronger community for everyone.

Our first-ever event took place in the Maxline Brewing parking lot in the spring of 2018. The project, a kindness expo, led us to discover not only many incredible organizations working to make Fort Collins a stronger community, but in the process we discovered something else: Fort Collins is brimming with kindness. We have truly phenomenal nonprofit organizations to meet our community’s most pressing needs; social and emergency services that work together in times of crisis as well as in celebration; and a local government that genuinely cares about the well being of its citizens. Our local businesses are deeply committed to giving back and demonstrate their philanthropic spirit in multitudes. To top it off, Fort Collins is full of everyday people spreading kindness at the grassroots level–with projects that are changing the world from the ground up, beginning in Fort Collins, one act of kindness at a time.