Why We Give: The Kirsch-Reynolds Family

Guest Contributor

A passion for education and environment roots Pat Reynolds and Peter Kirsch to their adopted Denver home. 

When Pat Reynolds and Peter Kirsch moved to Denver 20 years ago, it was about finding community. They wanted to feel connected to a city and raise their children free from the pressures of Peter's hometown Washington, D.C. Denver hasn't disappointed. "We were here only weeks before people invited us to become part of the institutions and neighborhoods," says Peter.

Those initial invitations turned into deep engagement. Pat is a longtime volunteer in Denver Public Schools, where she likes to "get her hands dirty" doing everything from moving furniture and digging gardens to working to implement restorative justice programs. Their three boys all attended DPS schools. While the boys have now graduated, Pat continues to volunteer in classrooms and schoolwide programs, where she has an impact by simply being present and showing up with positive intent. 

"I provide an extra ear," she says. "If I can listen to a kid who, because of the numbers in the classroom, doesn't have a chance to speak, he feels heard. I've made a difference."

Like Pat, Peter is an active volunteer. He serves on nonprofit boards and, as a policy advocate, mentors young people and builds a culture of philanthropy within his law firm, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell. As an environmentalist, Peter has been a force behind efforts to build a more inclusive environmental movement in Colorado. He was chairman of the board at Conservation Colorado when Protégete was launched as part of an integrated commitment to embed Latino community engagement and leadership into the organization. (See cover story on page 4.)

Peter had a similar influence at Denver Botanic Gardens, where, as a trustee, he worked alongside leadership to create a more inclusive board. He also supported programming designed to make the Gardens a place for everyone. Through his involvement on the Colorado Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land, he helped revitalize several parks throughout Denver. 

As a founding member and leader of The Denver Foundation's Environmental Affinity Group, Peter has helped shape the group's grantmaking priorities to focus on inclusiveness and efforts to engage and serve diverse audiences in climate change related work. 

"We try to apply our values to all aspects of our lives, including where we put our money and how we invest it."

When Pat and Peter chose to move their donor-advised fund to The Denver Foundation several years ago, it was another expression of their commitment to the community. 

"We try to apply our values to all aspects of our lives, including where we put our money and how we invest it," says Peter. "I've learned from The Denver Foundation, which I didn't expect, but it is a nice benefit."

Since those first days in Denver, Pat and Peter have certainly found the community connection they sought, and Denver is better for it. 

Are you ready to make a difference with your giving?The Denver Foundation helps generous people like you to make a difference in our community and beyond.We can help you create a personalized fund to accomplish your philanthropic goals. If you have questions, contact Kelly Purdy with the Philanthropic Services Group, kpurdy@denverfoundation.org

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Senior Communications Officer: Laura Bond | lbond@denverfoundation.org

Communications Associate: Dele Johnson | djohnson@denverfoundation.org

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