This small community can’t afford all the niceties. Lucky for them they have a fairy godmother watching over them. Make that a hundred.
When you live in a place without a lot of local government or institutions, things can slip through the cracks. In Pueblo West, an unincorporated community of about 30,000 folks two hours south of Denver, there’s a small but potent group of women that has something to say about that.
If the school band can’t afford instruments, or the parks department needs a sponsor for its fishing derby, or the public library needs new puppets for story time, they can appeal to the Pueblo West Women’s League. The group raises money and awards grants, a couple hundred bucks here, a couple hundred there—not much for a big metropolitan area, but meaningful and appreciated in Pueblo West.
Most of the money comes through the hard work of the league’s 100 or so members, who toil all year on events like game nights and to hand-make crafts and decorations that they sell at their annual Christmas House Boutique. Each November, the Women’s League sets up inside a local home, filling it with their creations and the magical sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays. Folks come through for fellowship and a cup of hot cocoa—and to spend their money on a good cause.
“I can’t even tell you what it’s like when you walk into that house and see all those smiling faces,” says Connie Minty, whose first visit to the Christmas House Boutique inspired her to join the Women’s League.
In 2018, the league’s efforts raised nearly $13,000. In addition to raising money for local needs, the women meet regularly to assist in community-service projects and to commission artwork to beautify the local park.
Pueblo West was empty desert just 50 years ago when a land company decided to build there.
“We still have dirt roads, and a lot of the houses sit on an acre or two, so we’re very spread out,” says resident Heather Wilder, who manages the public library. “The Women’s League creates a sense of common purpose. The whole community comes out to support them, and everybody knows where the money is going to go—back into the community.”
The Pueblo West Women’s League in Pueblo West, Colorado is approximately 100 women strong—working to make our community a better place.
This service organization works tirelessly to raise money throughout the year with events such as Game Night, the Spring Tea, 4th of July Booth, a Shredding Event and our much anticipated Christmas House Boutique—where we decorate a home provided by a local realtor, and fill it with wonderful crafts, sewing projects, and baked goods that the community members love to visit and purchase goods.
Then, once a year, we invite local non-profit organizations to apply for funds to assist with their projects. We rarely turn an organization away. We have provided funds for many local schools—for everything from choir uniforms to playground equipment. We’ve also helped local churches, the Pueblo West Parks and Recreation Department, the pregnancy center, autism center, Pueblo West Library, The Sangre de Cristo Art Center, Fire and Police Departments, humane societies, and the list goes on and on-year after year.
The organization also raises funds to bring cultural beauty to the community by commissioning local artists to create outdoor artwork for the public to enjoy—with six installations completed to date. In April of each year, after a committee has worked through all the applications for funds, we invite the recipients of the various organizations to our lunch meeting to enjoy lunch with us and receive their funds. It is the culmination of PWWL’s work through the year. There are many smiles, some tears, and much gratitude for our efforts.
This year, we disbursed over $12,000.00 to local organizations. Come May, it starts all over again-planning the new year of fundraising, and reinstituting groups to start sewing and crafting things to sell at our fundraisers to better our community. In addition, we provide service to our community by assisting in clean-up projects, help fill holiday food baskets, gift wrapping for a local organization that provides gifts to the less fortunate members of our community, etc., etc.
The women in our group are amazing. If someone needs an item to complete a craft project, it is often donated by another member. Otherwise, members buy supplies with their own money.
The community is very appreciative of the Pueblo West Women’s League and we are so very happy to be a positive impact in our wonderful community. For more information, and to view photos of our art installations, please visit our website at www.pwwl.org.
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