Entrepreneurial couple offers example of effect of individual contributions

Count Thane and Leanne DePuey among the individuals who contribute the bulk of funds to charitable organizations.

According to figures from the American Association of Fund-raising, 75 percent of contributions comes from individuals who want to make a difference and support causes in which they believe. By comparison, 17 percent of contributions comes from large corporations and foundations.

The DePueys, owners of Mountain Clear Water Co. in Grand Junction, have donated $1,000 each to Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado and United Way of Mesa County.

The donation to Hospice will help support the Equine Assisted Learning program that helps youth grieving the death of a loved one.

Hospice offers the program in collaboration with Inside Lead Counseling and Consulting. The partnership allows children and teens to interact through groundwork with horses in a tactile manner and express their grief in new and productive ways. Horses react much like people in social situations and have the ability to mirror human body language.

“We chose to contribute to the EAL program because we believe in the work that they do,” Thane DePuey said. “Often, people do not fully understand that interaction between animals and people can lead to a more healthful and beneficial lifestyle for members of our community who are learning to cope with grief.”

The DePueys also chose to donate $1,000 to United Way of Mesa County.

“We have dedicated to United Way through payroll deduction programs during our working lives,” said Leanne DePuey. “Thane and I have found that, year after year, United Way has proven itself to be responsible in the evaluation of needs and distribution of funds throughout our community.”

“When we give to United Way, we are confident our money is making a difference where our family, employees and friends live, work and play,” she added.