Mia Garcia of Antonito 2019 National Philanthropy Day honoree

Courtesy Photo

COLORADO -  National Philanthropy Day in Colorado is a celebration of philanthropy — giving, volunteering and charitable engagement. The day highlights the contributions that philanthropy, and those involved in giving and volunteering, make to our society and our world.


In Colorado, 12 outstanding honorees will be celebrated for their generosity of spirit, time, and treasure at the National Philanthropy Day in Colorado luncheon, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Seawell Grand Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.


Mia Garcia of Antonito is this year’s Colorado Outstanding Youth honoree.  Garcia was first motivated to help others when she learned about the challenges of children in foster care. Often, they have a difficult time sleeping due to the stress of out-of-home placement.


Garcia came up with the idea of raising money to buy Dreamlites Pillowpets, stuffed toys that glow with a comforting light, to give to the children as they enter care.


In the summer of 2012, when she was only 10 years old, she created a project called Run 4 Light, raising donations to sponsor her in 3K races for three consecutive weeks. She raised enough money to buy Pillowpets for 10 children in Conejos County foster care.


But that was only the beginning for Garcia. She decided there were many other ways to help foster children and changed the name of her project to L.I.G.H.T. – Lasting Impact of Generosity to Help with Transition. Over the next six years, she raised money for school supplies, coats, toys, and toiletries for children in foster care. When she learned that children often only have a trash bag to carry their belongings in when they leave home, she raised money for duffel bags, and then raised more to fill them with hygiene kits and comfort items to help with transition to their new homes.


In addition to her work with L.I.G.H.T., Mia is active with her church and has volunteered with numerous local charities. At 17, Mia has already helped and inspired hundreds of her neighbors in the San Luis Valley.
More than 800 community members are expected to attend the event.  National Philanthropy Day is a nationwide program created and promoted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). AFP Colorado Chapter is proud to serve as the host for National Philanthropy Day in Colorado.

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