BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Twenty-five years ago, Gina Coufal felt her son, Josh, did not have enough opportunities after his high school graduation.
The result was her creation of the nonprofit, FRIENDS of Broomfield, which now helps more than 230 "friends" who also have developmental and intellectual disabilities.
With their fleet of buses and vans, they are able to provide programming around the community for their participants, like self-defense classes and cooking lessons — opportunities that align with her original vision.
"I did not want Josh to be sitting idle. I did not need adult daycare," said Coufal, while Denver7 attended its grocery shopping program at the King Soopers in Broomfield. "I wanted him to continue working on independent living skills, like we had worked on his whole life."
FRIENDS of Broomfield's offerings also include employment assistance, such as teaming up "friends" with a job coach and providing transportation to their shifts.
However, a recent hindrance is threatening their ability to fully carry out this program: One of their buses is starting to break down.
Its wheelchair lift no longer functions properly, it's banged up, and many seats are permanently reclined.
"We can't get around and be part of the bigger world if we don't have transportation," said Coufal. "It's a real critical part of our program and something that we can't do without."
In the video above, you can learn more about their programs, and see the joy that these activities provide for their participants.
If you'd like to help, click here and select "Help FRIENDS of Broomfield Get a New Bus” in the dropdown menu. You can also click the module below, which will take you to the page where you can make a donation. Thanks to an anonymous corporate match, they now only need to raise $60,000, as opposed to the original $120,000.
Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.
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