20 Ways RMMFI Grads Give Back to their Community

It is now November, the time of year when we turn our attention to giving and what it means to give. At its simplest, giving is about letting go of something that is yours. That can be advice or knowledge, like what a mentor gives to a mentee. It can be money, like all those $2 bills your grandma might send you in the mail. And it can be your time, which is probably the most valuable thing in our lives and a deeply precious gift to give to another person or organization.

RMMFI’s Entrepreneurs are givers. They are strangers to holding onto things of value, delivering heaps of gifts to their various communities, sharing in their good fortune and spreading the love, the wealth, and the transformation that they represent.

Here are twenty amazing ways that RMMFI Entrepreneurs give back:

  1. For Savannah Moore (Class #17,) owner of Thoughtfish Cards, giving feels good. Since launch, she has donated a percentage of all sales to Huntington’s Disease Youth Organization, a nonprofit organization that supports youth affected by Huntington’s Disease whether they experience the disease through family, friends, or having the disease themselves.
  2. It isn’t just about jokes for LaRae Martinez (Class #12,) owner of 52Eighty Entertainment. Two years ago, 52Eighty Entertainment started giving all the proceeds from two comedy shows (with an all-female line-up) per year to Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado. The proceeds from the comedy shows support Florence Crittenton in its mission of empowering women and children by providing homes for unwed, pregnant women.
  • Patrick Efferson (Class #16) has been a barber for seventeen years. A year ago, he launched his own shop, Exclusive Cuts Barbershop at 28th & Colorado, to bring his talents to a wider audience. Patrick gives back by doing haircuts around picture time in public schools, giving under resourced children a slick new look for their school photos.

4-13.During each of RMMFI’s Business Launch Boot Camp cycle, graduates come back to their old haunt, RMMFI’s offices, and talk about their experiences after graduating during the Launch Round Table. In the past year, Edgar Aguilar (Class #11,) Rochelle Johnson (Class #10,) Roxann Lloyd (Class #12,) Michelle Castor (Class #10,) Eden Myles (Class #13,) Felix Jovel (Class #13,) Letitia Salazar Monk (Class #16,) Art Romero (Class #11,) John Hogue (Class #13,) and Shauna Lott (Class #15) have given of their time and knowledge, answering any and every question thrown at them by the current Boot Camp class!

  1. Made Wild isn’t just a clothing design company, it’s a way of life! Part of that way of life for owner Christopher Mathews (Class #17) is to support the communities that he is a part of. Recently, he donated to all of the gift bags for Run of the Gays, a fundraising and community-driven event for Art from Ashes, an arts organization and RMMFI’s neighbor in the Mariposa neighborhood.
  2. Rochelle Johnson (Class #10,) owner of Rochelle Johnson Studio, is a storyteller through her artistic medium, painting; a curator; a business owner. She’s also a mentor, supporting a middle school public school student through her own artistic discovery and all the other challenges that come with growing up.
  3. Agua Y Sangre Holistic Healing, owned and operated by Michelle Castor (Class #10,) has integrated its social mission into its business model. Through Agua Y Sangre, Michelle strives to provide access to health resources, empowering the communities she serves. She does this by charging a sliding scale for many of her services and hosting free Healing Happy Hours at her office every month, where community members can get chair massages, create their own herbal therapies (like foot soaks,) and explore other therapies for free or by donation. Michelle’s gives health and healing back to her community!
  4. Simple & Sylvan exemplifies the Colorado lifestyle: The outdoors, natural materials, simple design. Jess Moore launched Simple & Sylvan out of Class #16, capturing the heart of what it means to be “Colorado” with her designs and her laser cutter. She donates her products to various charities, including an ornament for this year’s Holiday Ornament Auction for the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Jess is now selling her products at the gift shop on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park and will be donating a portion of her sales to public lands starting in 2018.

18-20. RMMFI furthers its impact through the giving of others. Every year, our Community comes together at Sunday FunDay to celebrate RMMFI and its Entrepreneurs and to support its mission financially. This is accomplished through the generosity of our Entrepreneurs, who consistently donate their products to Sunday FunDay’s Silent Auction, including Kyla DeTienne (Class #2,) G Roice (Class #19,) and Rochelle Johnson (Class #10) this year.

Finally, in this month of November, giving is also about saying “Thanks,” and we here at RMMFI want to extend a gigantic “Thank You” to our Entrepreneurs for their generosity and the bright light they bring to our Community.


By Paul Suazo, RMMFI Thrive Coordinator