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Strength in Change Benefits Your Community

A unique program called Strength in Change allows PERA retirees to immediately help Colorado nonprofit organizations improve the lives of kids in our state. The initiative, dreamed up by Judy Vanderleest and started in 2014, collects monthly, voluntary $1.00 donations from PERA retirees’ benefit checks and distributes those donations to various charities in the state that are helping children thrive. The best part? Retirees get to nominate a Colorado nonprofit that’s doing great work! As of August 1, 2022, Strength in Change has donated $23,500 to charities that help Colorado’s kids.

How far does one dollar a month go to help Colorado child-focused nonprofit organizations? When thousands of Colorado PERA retirees are contributing, the answer is a very long way!

Your dollar makes a difference

Kids At Their Best, a nonprofit in Fort Morgan, Colorado, received a $1,500 donation from Strength in Change on July 1, 2022. Executive director Jodi Walker (below, far right) and staff, inspire, educate and empower young people from low-income families in rural Colorado. Kids At Their Best serves 600+ people across the Eastern Plains from kindergarten through college and into the workforce. “The PERA donation was such a wonderful and unexpected surprise,” says Walker. “Our teen leaders have been working hard to raise money for our Youth Leadership Retreat and this was just enough to put them over the top. Due to your generosity, these young adults were able to spend three days in Breckenridge honing their leadership skills and learning to rely on each other as a team.”

Sign up to donate, nominate a nonprofit, see recipients, and meet the Board of Directors at Also join a great community of PERA retiree givers at

May contain: clothing, apparel, person, human, pants, jeans, and denim
 Photo courtesy Kids At Their Best


More Opportunities

There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities for retirees wanting to help their communities thrive. Libraries, animal shelters, food banks, and recreation centers are often in need of volunteers to minimize costs, care for their customers, and provide programming. A call to your local chamber of commerce or a look at are easy ways to find out about new opportunities.