To me, one of the coolest things about our Store it Forward program is the ability to support and learn about small charities making a direct impact in the many communities we call home. In Avon, Colorado, one of those partners is Friends of Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). As their name implies, they support avalanche forecasting and education throughout Colorado. Being a Missouri girl myself, I was curious to learn more about what they did, and they were kind enough to take time from their busy schedules to fill me in.
How long has your organization been around?
Friends of CAIC was formed in 2007
What motivated you to start your organization?
Since 1950 avalanches have killed more people in Colorado than any other natural hazard, and in the United States, Colorado accounts for one-third of all avalanche deaths. Friends of CAIC was founded to promote avalanche safety in Colorado and support the recreation program of the CAIC.
What is the goal of your organization?
Support avalanche forecasting and education throughout the state of Colorado.
What is something about your organization that many people either don’t understand or have misconceptions about?
The CAIC is state funded, but the programs that outdoor recreationalists depend on, like the daily backcountry forecasts, education events, and website/mobile app are dependent on donations from the backcountry community.
Since its creation, what kind of results or progress have you seen in the community?
Thousands of kids have taken free Know Before You Go classes, we fund 2-3 backcountry forecaster positions each winter, and we continue to invest and build ways to check the forecast easily.
What are you most proud of?
Partnering with the CAIC on this public service and making an impact on the safety of Coloradoans.
Is there a big initiative your organization is currently working on you want the public to know about?
We are launching a membership program this fall with gift and partner benefits to help users come together and support this resource.
What community events are coming up that you want people to know about?
They can request a free KBYG class at anytime – just visit our website!
What are some ways people can get involved?
Join, give, or volunteer at an event (in a normal year), or buy merchandise on our online shop, shop.friendsofcaic.org
What is the best place for people to find your organization online?
Is there anything else not included in the questions above that you’d like to share with us?
Before you venture into the backcountry in the winter, check the avalanche forecast!