Each year, the Just For Kids Foundation Grants $170,000 to Youth Non-Profit Organizations in the San Miguel Watershed and to the Man of La Mancha Scholarship Program. 

Since 2002, Just for Kids has provided over $2M in grants & funds to serve our youth.


Just For Kids serves children from birth through high school graduation throughout the San Miguel Watershed, including the towns of Telluride, Norwood, Nucla, Naturita, Paradox and all points in between.

We provide funds for scholarship programs, operating grants, program support, capital needs, start-up projects, and equipment. We particularly target projects with leadership opportunities for children and projects promoting self-sufficiency and responsibility.  Please contact us at  if you have questions about whether your organization qualifies for grant consideration.

Some of the innovative programs we have funded include experiential learning programs, collaborative efforts between children’s organizations, character building programs, early childhood programming, programs offering job skills training and assistance and college scholarships through the Man of La Mancha scholarship program.

Each year, the Mountains to the Desert Bike Ride serves as the single fundraising event for the Just For Kids Foundation which raises over 70k. Every dollar raised through participant fundraising is matched  by the Carstens Family Fund at the Denver Foundation. That money is then awarded to individuals and organizations that provide leadership opportunities for regional youth as well as organizations that promote self-sufficiency and responsibility. Over the past ten years, the Just For Kids Foundation is proud to have raised over $2 Million; all of which has been awarded to hundreds of organizations benefitting thousands of underprivileged children and to deserving seniors who are awarded college scholarships through the Man of La Mancha program.

What Makes Us Unique

  • JFK will accept any request from well-managed and effective children’s programs throughout the San Miguel Watershed
  • JFK fundraising is matched, dollar for dollar by the Carstens Family Fund at the Denver Foundation
  • JFK provides seed capital and start-up funding for innovative organizations
  • JFK gives Monetary Awards to outstanding mentors, leaders, and teachers
  • We interview grant applicants in both Telluride and the West End
  • We provide a six-week turnaround from application to award
  • We offer ONE Organization grant cycle annually
  • We offer a fall and spring individual small grant application


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For a small town kid, the Just For Kids Foundation is a door of opportunity, encouragement, and possibility. I received a grant from Just For Kids in 2007 to help fund my internship through the Pinhead Institute that brought me to the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth. This also involved a 2-week adventure in the heart of the rainforest in Peru. I was also honored to receive the 2009 Man of La Mancha scholarship upon graduation from Norwood, Colorado. Yes, the money made a tremendous difference in both of these academic endeavors, but I believe the value of what JFK provides goes beyond a dollar amount. JFK fosters life-changing opportunities for the youth of the San Miguel Watershed region; opportunities that would otherwise not exist. My hope is that my testimony proves that the Just For Kids Foundation clearly and sincerely aims to propel young people academically, professionally, and creatively. My internship in Texas and Peru opened my eyes to a much bigger snapshot of the world. From that moment on, a longing was planted in my heart to want to make an impact on the world through my future works. Now, at age 24 I am pursuing a M.S. in Public Communication and Technology. I am also excited to share that I have launched a global documentary production company called BlueShoe Media that aims to use empathetic storytelling to cultivate understanding across vast cultural differences. I have assembled a team that will be traveling to Asia this summer to shoot our first full-feature documentary under BlueShoe Media. Just For Kids is a vital resource for the San Miguel Watershed community. Looking back, this paragraph would not exist without their dedicated support. Thank you, Just For Kids!

                                            - Kyle Rasmussen, JFK Grant Recipient 

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Just for Kids has been supporting Telluride Academy for many years. Their consistent support has helped our non-profit organization send hundreds of local children in need of financial assistance to summer camp every year. Their annual support has also provided significant resources to help keep our communities long-standing after-school climbing program going strong. Originally funded by Bill Carsten, the founder of JFK, the Academy's Horizon after-school climbing program, over the past 30 years, has served many of our communities most at-risk children. Today, our "New-Horizon" after-school program is not only thriving but growing offering rock climbing, mountain biking and a Global Citizen educational program for students in grades K-8.

 -Elaine Demas, Executive Director at Telluride Academy