RK Foundation

For over 50 years, RK has supported numerous non-profit and charitable organizations that improve the quality of life in our community. Since 2011, we have continued this proud tradition of philanthropy through the RK Foundation (RKF). We recycle scrap metal generated in our fabrication facilities and from projects across RK’s seven business units, and all funds generated support the work of the RK Foundation.

The RKF has granted $100k since January 2019 with a cumulative total of $1.39M to date! Each quarter, the RKF Board of Directors reviews grant applications and determines which organizations best align with our core advocacy areas of education, health and community development, as well as our mission to build better lives by strengthening communities and providing opportunities for those most in need. 

Some recent grant recipients include the Community College of Denver, Fisher House, Women’s Bean Project, Homes for Our Troops, CureSearch and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

RK Cares Foundation

The RK Cares Foundation serves as the philanthropic and corporate citizenship arm of RK, overseeing our employee volunteer program as well as the company’s community outreach and engagement. Each year, RK Cares volunteers participate in 10 – 12 group volunteer activities and give back to our community.

HERO Fund

Additionally, RK Cares administers the newly established HERO Fund, which empowers RK employees to help reduce the burden when unexpected life events occur. The program officially launched in early September with a $25k donation from the RK Foundation. All donations collected are used to support RK employees, their families, and the community.

Feeling Inspired? Volunteering your time is the easiest thing you can do! Call your favorite local non-profit and ask them what you and your family can do to help.

By: RK Foundation

The RK Foundation recently donated $20,000 as part of a community consortium to assist Denver Public Schools (DPS) with their Youth CareerConnect grant. In partnership with the Department of Labor and Education, the consortium of 31 organizations, along with the DPS Foundation, gave $2.3 million to boost the $7 million STEM grant to $9.3 million.

The grant is among the largest given by the program, and the STEM grant focuses on dramatically improving career and technical education, with a special focus on science, technology, engineering and math. DPS was one of six agencies nationwide to receive the $7 million grant.

Eight DPS high schools will benefit from the Youth CareerConnect grant, expanding career and technical education programs focused on the following industries: engineering/energy and engineering technology, biomedical science and healthcare, information technology and digital media, finance and advanced manufacturing. The program will provide opportunities for students to participate in a job shadow or paid internship and complete a capstone project that demonstrates how they applied the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to their workplace-based experience.

The eight high schools that will benefit from the expanded programs include:

* Abraham Lincoln High School

* CEC Middle College

* East High School

* Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College

* George Washington High School

* West Generation Academy

* High Tech Early College

* John F. Kennedy High School

For RK’s personal contribution to the program, in addition to monetary support, the company is developing a pre-apprenticeship program. Senior personnel have committed to serve on the Manufacturing Curriculum Advisory Board to ensure that industry professionals can participate in the design of this vital workforce development pathway.

RK will maintain an active presence in the DPS manufacturing pathway by going in to the high schools and talking about career preparation and requirements. Additionally, senior personnel will develop mentorship relationships with selected DPS students.

RK is currently developing a job shadow program with DPS that will debut in February or March. This in situ  program will include an overview of RK and its five business units, a Merit shop overview and explanation, as well as rotating stations that will allow student to observe various job activities at the RK Xanthia shop.

[GC1]What is that?

By: RK Foundation

The RK Foundation was founded in 2011 in order to building better lives by strengthening communities and providing opportunities for those most in need.

The Foundation was initially started (and continues to function) by selling scrap metal from the RK shops and job sites to a metals recycler each month. This way, the Foundation’s financial base grows on an ongoing basis and has a continuous income source. “The busier that RK gets, the more scrap is created and recycled, allowing the RK Foundation to ultimately support more worthy organizations and groups,” said Katie Dell, Executive Assistant at RK.

The Kinning family provided the initial funding to start the foundation.

The RK Foundation supports a variety of local causes and non-profit organizations, with a specific focus on Child Advocacy, Community, Education, Health, Trades and Veterans. All applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis.

In December, RK is sponsored its annual Food + Toy Drive this year and hopes to exceed previous year’s numbers of donations. The drive will benefit the Colfax Community Network (CCN), which is a non-profit organization that supports families living in temporary housing and also the transient population living on Colfax Avenue.

RK is helping to restock their food pantry and also provide a merrier Christmas for those who are less fortunate. Gifts will be donated to CCN for their holiday party that is organized every year for families who wouldn’t otherwise have a holiday celebration. Each year, 300 kids and 100 parents come to CCN to “shop” for presents, enjoy a delicious meal, listen to live music, and visit with Santa.

Each parent gets to shop for one present for each of their children, wrap it, and take it home for Christmas. The children work as a team to find presents for their parents(s) and work with volunteers to wrap them and take them home to give out.

Items that are donated each year by RK employees include: non-perishable food, new, unwrapped toys, money (to assist with the holiday party), holiday decorations, books, cards, dolls, games, pajamas (children and adult), socks, underwear, journals, art supplies, balls, backpacks, hygiene products, picture frames, robes, and slippers.

Originally formed to reach the transient motel population along Colorado’s roughest stretch of avenue, CCN seeks to not only provide goods and services, but also help to provide a deep sense of community. They strive to recognize an individual’s value and offer tangible resources in order to encourage stability in people’s lives.

Clothes to Kids Denver, Inc. helps to provide new and quality used clothing to school-age students from low-income or in-crisis families. The RK Foundation (RKF) has gotten on board in supporting their efforts by fabricating 12 clothing collection bins through the RK sheet metal shop. The bins were placed in Denver Public Schools (DPS) in October for donated clothing. RKF has committed to expand the program further over the next four years. Bin sites include DPS Headquarters, Bill Roberts, Emily Griffith, Hamilton Middle School, Hill Middle School, Holm Elementary, McAuliffe International School, Steck Elementary, and Swigert International School.

After the items are donated, they are picked up, sorted and washed by volunteers, who then help students “shop” for clothes. Founded in 2002, Clothes to Kids seeks to fill the gap that inadequate clothing makes. Research has shown that students who come to school without proper clothing experience low self-esteem, poor social skills, and lack of concentration in class. There are roughly 55,000 students in the DPS system who are in need of better clothing.

Clothes to Kids has a store they run and a family must make an appointment to “shop” at it. Students select a week’s worth of clothing, including five shirts, four pants, one dress (optional), one coat, one pair of shoes, and five pairs of new underwear and socks. Parents are welcome to shop with or without their children. Qualifying students must live in the Denver Metro Area, they must be in preschool-12 grade (or working towards earning their GED), the family must be considered in need of assistance (the student must be receiving free or reduced lunch at school), and they must also be receiving services from a social service agency, school or counseling center.

The partnership between RKF and DPS came about through Hamilton Middle Schooler, Marko Babiak, who “envisioned a program that would create an opportunity for DPS students to help other students in their community”. While in 5th grade, Babiak set up a bin at his school to collect clothing and shoes. The effort was a big success and he helped expand the program and approached RKF to be a sponsor. The collaboration will help to provide school clothing to thousands of students currently in need. Since 2008, Clothes to Kids Denver has provided more than 19,000 wardrobes to students.