Glenwood Springs charity always open for needy |

Glenwood Springs charity always open for needy

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Tuesday was a perfect example of how Tom’s Door helps people in need.

A woman just got divorced, was struggling with cash and her electricity was going to be shut off that day. Tom’s Door got a call from a parish member about the woman, and the charity quickly paid the electric bill to help her out.

“I thought ‘This is what it’s all about,'” said Tom’s Door founder Rosie McSwain. “It was an emergency.”

McSwain reportedly pleaded with an employee at the utility and convinced them not to immediately shut off the electricity before the bill was paid.

Tom’s door helps people from Aspen to Rifle and is supported through donations and sales of seasonal greeting cards. The cards feature around 15 local photographers and are sold in about 20 retail businesses and seven churches. Post Independent photographer Kelley Cox is among those whose photos are featured.

McSwain and her team of volunteers work each holiday in assembly-line fashion to put together the greeting cards. This year they made more than 3,000.

Tom’s Door has given out around $43,000 in donations this year as of October, according to the group. It gives emergency assistance to around 110 families a year.

“The money just keeps coming in enough to give out. It’s just a wonderful thing,” McSwain said.

The help comes in many forms, but a typical contribution would be a $300 donation for help with rent or other bills. In one of the more unusual contributions, Tom’s Door got one woman a used car last year. The woman had trouble keeping jobs and had to travel often for her son’s medical condition.

Tom’s Door focuses on families living paycheck to paycheck who encounter an unexpected bump in the road and face severe consequences if they didn’t get the help. Tom’s Door has been operating as an arm of the St. Mary’s Church in Carbondale but will soon obtain its own nonprofit status, McSwain said. The charity is governed by a board of directors.

McSwain founded Tom’s Door in 2001. She wanted to do more in life than just volunteer and have fun. She had one of those moments where a light just goes on. After a trip to Marble where she snapped some photos, the idea instantly came to her to make greeting cards.

“I just think there’s so much need, and it’s just part of giving back,” she said. “My life kind of revolves around volunteer work. It’s really fulfilling to help people.”

Tom’s Door was named after Father Tom Bradtke. Two other Toms soon arrived at local parishes: Father Tom McCormick and Monsignor Tom Dentici. That seemed like a good sign.

“It was just a complete blessing because all three of these men are exceptional men who believe in helping the needy,” McSwain said.

Tom’s Door needs donations to survive. Anyone interested in helping out or learning more can visit

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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