Our view: LIFT-UP moving up | SteamboatToday.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Our view: LIFT-UP moving up

At issue

LIFT-UP of Routt County has purchased commercial property that will allow the organization to expand its programs

Our view

LIFT-UP has benefited from the Steamboat community’s generosity and its own business savvy

The announcement last week that LIFT-UP of Routt County had purchased a commercial building next door to its current location with plans to double the size of its thrift store and modernize its food bank is a success story the entire community can celebrate.

At issue

LIFT-UP of Routt County has purchased commercial property that will allow the organization to expand its programs



Our view

LIFT-UP has benefited from the Steamboat community’s generosity and its own business savvy



LIFT-UP closed on the building at 2095 Curve Court last Wednesday, a decade after the nonprofit launched a successful $1 million-plus capital campaign to build its existing 8,000-square-foot facility that currently houses a food bank, administrative offices and its popular thrift store.

According to LIFT-UP Executive Director Laura Schmidt, the organization plans to use the new building for a larger food bank with more modern equipment necessary to store fresh produce and high-protein foods. A wall in the existing building that now separates the donation center from the thrift store will be removed, doubling the space for the thrift store. The area where donations are collected and sorted will be moved to the food bank space once that service area moves to the new building.

The fact that LIFT-UP has the budget to purchase additional property and expand its program is testament to the financial stability and vision of the nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1996 by the Ministerial Alliance to provide charitable assistance to Routt County residents in need. The mission of LIFT-UP has remained true with an emphasis placed on helping clients achieve self-sufficiency.

LIFT-UP continues to serve as a valuable community resource. In 2014, the organization served 2,200 people, or 10 percent of the county’s population, and distributed almost 12,000 bags of food valued at $445,000 to community members in need, all at a cost of $37,000. This means last year alone, the community donated $408,000 to LIFT-UP’s food bank programs that operate out of Steamboat, Hayden and Oak Creek.

In addition to monetary gifts, LIFT-UP benefits from a steady stream of clothing and home good donations. If you have any doubt about the generosity of Routt County residents, all you have to do is pay a visit to LIFT-UP’s donation center where volunteers sift through bags and boxes of materials that are donated on an almost daily basis.

And these donations are not junk. Instead, LIFT-UP receives high-quality, gently used items, which are resold in the thrift store. Last year, the store grossed $371,500 with a net revenue of $190,000, which was used to support the food bank. According to Schmidt, the store grows year after year with revenues projects to expand by 10 to 25 percent annually.

LIFT-UP’s acumen at operating a profitable thrift store business helps fuel the organization’s ability to grow and expand. It is an important factor in the organization’s financial stability and serves as a model for other nonprofits. It also helped LIFT-UP leverage the purchase of additional property — giving the organization the opportunity to expand at its current location rather than having to purchase a larger parcel of land or property elsewhere at a much greater cost in the future.

LIFT-UP of Routt County has proven itself to be a good steward of the gifts it receives from the community — whether they be in the form of money, fresh produce through LIFT-UP’s Grow a Row program or clothes for the thrift shop. The organization consistently finds way to use donations to generate revenue and expand programming to meet important community needs.

Now, with the purchase of the property at Curve Court, LIFT-UP will be launching a new capital campaign to pay off its loan, and we encourage Routt County residents to consider donating to the cause and supporting LIFT-UP’s goal of helping those less fortunate get back on the road to self-sufficiency here in the Yampa Valley.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User